India has witnessed a wicket-keeper batsman, who is one of the finest finishers of the game. MS Dhoni, the greatest finisher for India has done wonders for India in every aspect of the game. When it comes to Women in Blue, however, there has been no fixed option of a wicket-keeper batter who can do wonders. Either a person was a good wicket-keeper or a good batter, but not both. But the inclusion of Richa Ghosh is changing things for the Indian women's team. Her fast hands rarely drop catches, her quick movements make stumping look easy, and her ability to hit long sixers in the crucial time give India the momentum it wants.
Yesterday, the 18-year-old scored the fastest fifty for Women in Blue, which came in only 26 balls. She came in at a crucial time when India was in a bad position with 19/4, but the youngster batted her heart out and was the only player to score according to the required run rate. The ODI match, which was turned into a T20 because of rain gods, was eventually won by the Black Caps, but Richa made the match worth watching. Known for her fearless batting, she displayed it yet again.
Her fearlessness was a strong part of her character since her childhood. Born and brought up in Siliguri, the girl played with the boys, as Siliguri didn't have any academy for girls back then. Her father was a club level cricketer, and a part-time umpire too. She developed an interest in the game after seeing her father play. At the age of 4, she started playing the game.
At the fearless mere age of 12, she was selected for Bengal Domestic team. She made every opportunity count. Her fearless was still her strong point. In her career, her father had a huge role to play. Since she was too young, her father accompanied her to Kolkata for training. He even had to quit his business in 2016 to focus on Richa's training. His dedication and Richa's efforts paid off, as she received her maiden India call up in the T20 world cup 2020, after her dominating performance in Challenger Trophy 2020.
Although she didn't get a chance to play in the tournament, she did witness the grandeur of the event. In the next few months, she was made her debut against mighty Aussies in the T20s in 2021. In the year to follow, she also received her ODI debut cap against Aussies, and she played her role of playing important match-winning run-a-ball cameos. Her game awareness was always up to the mark. She played sensibly by rotating the strike when needed and hit long sixes when the team needed to shift gears.
Apart from her batting, her excellent glove work also turned out to be a big positive for India. Her quick movements helped India dismiss the opposition batters by stumping. In one instance, she almost pulls out an MS Dhoni style runout. Her role as a wicketkeeper who can finish games was liked by Hobart Hurricanes, who picked her for WBBL 2021. She played in the tournament, with her highest score of 46 runs. Her runs might be less in the tournament, but in her first match itself, she pull out an impossible-looking run out after a failed yet stunning effort to catch the ball.
Be it on the field, or off the field, this girl always makes a mark with her acts. In one of the kindest fundraised and selfless acts, at the mere age of 16, she donated a hefty amount of INR 1 Lakh (Remember the pay gap between Indian men and women team) to the PM Cares fund, a fundraised for healthcare facilities to fight against the covid pandemic. This shows the kind of mature, kind-hearted person she is. Because at the mere age of 16, who has done this before? But Richa did it. In the match-winner truest possible manner, she won hearts, along with winning matches for her team.
A match-winner for her team, there is no doubt that this girl is going to be the future superstar for India. India struggled to find a proper finisher after Veda Krishnamurthy, but in the form of Richa, India have overcompensated by getting a finisher, who can keep the wickets well. Her energy and words of the motivation behind the stumps are both infectious. Her game awareness is superb. If at such age, she is performing so well, one can only imagine what wonders she will do shortly. We congratulate this amazingly talented cricketer and a gem of a person Richa for her record and wish she goes on to become one of the best wicketkeeper batters in the history of women's cricket.
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
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