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Fame & Game: Women for cricket in Kashmir

‘Breaking the glass ceiling’ is not just a phrase but it also implies breaking the barriers and moving out of your comfort zone. It takes lots of efforts and courage to step outside the certain norms that have been set by society, especially for women, to follow their dreams.

One such Ideal example is of Roopali Slathia, first woman cricket coach of Jammu & Kashmir who has completed the level- B course organized by BCCI.  A co-author of the book ‘Rising spell in Women’s Cricket’ and a doctorate in Philosophy, Slathia is coming with flying colors in every field.

Though we can’t ignore the fact it is definitely not easy for a girl with the cricket bat in her hand and moves out alone. But if you have a supportive father like hers, who always encourage chasing your ambitions, what else do you need?! Sports directly or indirectly help you to grow as a person, teach you proper discipline, freedom of expression and increase your self-esteem. It takes a lot of guts for a female to choose sports as a career option due to the stereotype associated with it.

Roopali, at the age of 14, started playing cricket in 1996, the time when the concept of Women Cricket was not that popular. But she has already made her mind and was ready to take all the challenges that come with Not-So-traditional career choices. In the early stage of her career, facilities like the infrastructure, playing grounds and coaching were not up to the mark. There were hardly two centers at that time. But slowly things improved, post her selection for the sub-junior national game. She joined NIS Cricket Academy and completed her diploma in Sports Coaching in 2006. She played till 2010. In her 15 years long career, she got selected twice for the India camp; also she had played a number of zonal matches. One of the biggest achievement was her 10 years of Captaincy for the Jammu and Kashmir team.

Roopali Slathia in Kashmir cricket player.

Then she decided to step into professional coaching in 2011, she wanted to help the youth of the Kashmir and guide them through the way. She started working with Jammu and Kashmir cricket association with the ultimate goal is to take the team to a certain level where the entire country will be proud. She emerged as a catalyst for many youngsters and truly an inspiration for all who dream big. When asked what is cricket for you, she replied, “Cricket, for me, is oxygen.  When I enter the cricket field my energy doubles.” She also believes that the love for the sport sooner or later will get you the results.  You just need to get out your comfort zone to make that dream turn into reality.

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Our Kashmir is undoubtedly the land of talent and people are promoting the youth of the Valley. They are making our country proud in every way and in every field possible. On the way to success, there are a lot of ups and downs, but giving up is never the option.