The game has to be marketed more efficiently

Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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If there ever was a woman cricketer, who gave her heart and soul to the game and in the bargain ended up dedicating her entire life, so to speak, for the cause of the game and if I may add, sacrificed a whole lot more than anybody could ever know, it is former international Sudha Shah.

Being one of the pioneers of the game, she played the game for an amazing 25 years having made her debut for Tamil Nadu in 1973. She has the distinction of being the first to score a century in first class cricket in India - 139 not out and being an all-rounder she has figures of seven for three, to boot.

Making her debut for the country in the 1974/ 75 home series against Australia at Delhi, she went on to represent India at home and abroad through the seventies and the eighties till 1991 when she toured Australia for what was to be her last series.

An officer by profession at the Canara Bank, she holds the record for the highest number of Test match representation by an Indian and also the record of having pouched the highest number of catches in the Tests.

In an exclusive interview to Indiainfo.com, currently the coach of the Indian team and a more than a pleasant personality in the women's field, Sudha Shah threw light on a few aspects of women's cricket and on her life as a cricketer.

How did it feel to switch from a player to a coach/ cricket manager?

At the beginning, I did find it difficult. After having played for 25 years, it was kind of tough. But I have now settled down and I am quite enjoying the role of a coach.

How did you feel during the two-year break that you took during the interim period?

You bet, I missed playing! After I stopped playing I didn't go near the grounds for nearly a year. Now it feels good to be back and being able to contribute some thing back to the game.

Where do you think women's cricket stands internationally and where is it heading?

Women's cricket in general seems to be moving in the right direction. In New Zealand, England and Australia - I think South Africa also, the associations have merged with the men's association and it has done a great deal for the players in those countries. The facilities have improved a lot and so have the opportunities, which augurs well for women cricketers.

Read more about: cricket, india, womens cricket
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