New Delhi, Dec 29: Ravi Venkateswarlu Kalpana is one of India’s most promising wicketkeepers and batswomen. The 21-year old cricketer from Andhra Pradesh made her debut for the Indian team in 2015 against New Zealand.
Since then she has played just seven matches so far. While being groomed as a cricketer, Kalpana had to face a stiff social challenge.
While sharing her experience of playing with Indian cricketers like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, Kalpana spontaneously revealed, “My most memorable win is so far to convince my family and stop my marriage which could have happened almost abruptly.”
Kalpana’s father is an auto-rickshaw driver. They do not have a permanent home. Kalpana has one more sister and all of them had to face dire financial hurdles.
Kalpana had to battle her parents and relatives who were forcing her into a marriage. The cricketer could not remember whether she was an adult back then.
While speaking on the issue Kalpana said, “Those days were horrible, I can't exactly remember whether I turned 18. But my parents and relatives were putting pressure on me for marriage. Actually, we all were struggling financially. That could have been a reason why my father wanted me to get married so that I could be well-off.
"But I was adamant and explained my coach Srinivas Reddy about the whole situation. He came and talked to my parents and convinced that I would continue playing cricket and also continue my studies."
Andhra Pradesh Cricket Association (APCA) decided to offer an allowance of Rs 4000 to Kalpana when she was representing the state team.
Today, Kalpana is an employee of Indian Railways. She has taken her family from Vijaywada to Secundrabad.
MS Dhoni is her favourite wicketkeeper. She still cherishes the photograph, taken with Dhoni. Kalpana, who was not included in the women’s World Cup last year, is now aiming to get into the national squad for the upcoming tours and T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held next year.