Hyderabad: From playing with a plastic bat and ball at the age of two-and-a-half-years to winning the Under-19 T20 cricket World Cup, 17-year-old Gongadi Trisha has come a long way. Trisha, Hyderabad’s young cricketer, made 24 runs and had a 46-run partnership with Saumya Tiwari.
The Indian team chased a target of 69 against England U-19 women’s team in the final ICC Women’s U-19 World Cup in South Africa on Sunday and emerged victorious.
The beginning of Trisha’s story
Trisha’s cricket story started after her second birthday when her father gave her a plastic ball and bat. Like other children her age, she was excited to play with the bat and ball but it did not stop there. Her father, G.V. Rami Reddy who is a former U-16 national hockey player, used to take her to the gym after she turned five and bowl more than 300 throwdowns to her. What’s surprising is that when Trisha was born in 2005, Rami Reddy told his wife Madhavi that they would show her cricket matches on TV instead of cartoons.
“Whether it is a boy or a girl, I decided to make my child an international cricket player. I also made sure that she watched cricket matches on TV instead of cartoons. I had a cement pitch installed at a local ground in town, and I used to spend time coaching her. For the knockings she did in her practice, I used to buy her drawing books and crayons,” said Mr. Rami Reddy.
A father’s sacrifice
A resident of Bhadradri Kothagudem in the then Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Rami Reddy decided to close his gym, give up his job as a fitness trainer in ITC, and become a cricket coach for his daughter. He left his hometown 10 years ago and sold his four-acre farmland to support his daughter’s training.
“On the day I left my hometown and came to Secunderabad to pursue her dreams, I knew she would make me proud. Losing things in the past is nothing for me when I see Trisha rocking on the pitch,” says Mr. Rami Reddy. In 2012, Mr. Rami Reddy made a video of Trisha batting in the nets and showed it to coaches John Manoj and Sreenivas at St. John’s Academy in Hyderabad. At 7, she was making progress as an open batter, and the coaches suggested she also become a spinner to make her an all-rounder.
Within two years, Trisha played for the Hyderabad U-16 team in the inter-state tourney in the 2014-2015 season then made her entry into the U-19 and U-23 stateside. Later, she got a chance in the U-19 challenger trophy.
India U-19: 6 matches, 130 runs, 3 wkts
List A: 20 matches, 370 runs, Highest score: 69, 17 wkts, Best 5 for 17
T20s: 21 matches, 335 runs, Highest score: 56*, 16 wkts, Best 3 for 10
Trisha, the freakish spinner
Speaking to NewsMeter, John Manoj of St. John’s Academy said, “Ten years back, her father came to us with a video of Trisha batting. We were impressed with her batting speed and hand-eye coordination. A girl at the age of 7 with such speed and coordination was splendid.”
Trisha was trained by one of the coaches, Srinivas, and they saw a spark in her. Later, former Indian coach R. Sridhar trained her in his academy. Former Indian spinner Nooshin Al Khadeer, the India U-19 coach at the world cup, improved her spin bowling. Coach Manoj says Trisha is a freakish leg spinner who bowls like Anil Kumble.
“Trisha always used to play with the boys. She is a strong hitter and more of a batting all-rounder. Former Indian cricketer Mithali Raj used to practice in the academy and Trisha had an opportunity to bowl and bat in front of her,” says Manoj who hopes Trisha will next go for the first women’s IPL which will be held this year.
The coaches hope Trisha will play for the Indian national team in two years.