Here’s the story of an ace woman cricketer who is a married Marwari woman and mother of the sweet, 5-year-old, Ayaan. She effectively manages a travel & tourism business, her home and her passion for cricket. A super woman indeed! Meet 35-year-old Sweta Girish Ranawat, a left-handed batswoman who has been creating waves across Mumbai’s woman cricket scene.
I have been playing cricket for a while now and have been blessed to have played with some of the best women cricketers in Mumbai. Before this interview, I wrote about Manali Bhandari, the 25-year-old inspiring ace cricketer. Today you will read about Sweta Ranawat, a towering personality who allows her cricketing prowess to speak for her.
I am part of Smashing Divas a dynamic turf cricket team from Malad and Yuva Mann Sports Club an amazing open ground team from North Mumbai. Sweta is the opening batswoman for both the teams and has created magic with her bat for us.
I interviewed Sweta Ranawat during the recent Midday tournament. She is a shy person, focussed on her game and nothing else. You will find her miles away from controversies and allows her game to speak for itself. Here are some excerpts from the enlightening interview:
When did you first discover your passion for cricket?
Sweta (smiles as she recalls her childhood memories): Since my childhood, I have been an athlete and interested in all kinds of games. I had many friends who are boys, and they loved to play cricket. I used to play with them and that’s when I discovered I was happiest when I played this game.
Cricket would keep me busy all day and once a person learns the game of cricket, the craze stays with you for life. It has happened with me; I learned the game and I just want to keep playing it all my life.
How has the support from the family been for your passion for cricket?
Sweta (continues to happily): We are a close-knit family of 4 sisters and one brother blessed with loving parents. My sister Retam and I regularly play cricket. Initially, my mother was skeptical and used to say, ‘cricket apna kaam nahi hai‘. However, my father, sisters and brother would always support me. Eventually, my mother also came around and supported me.
(She takes a sip of water and continues) Just before I got engaged, my father asked me to take a break for a while. I got married and gave birth to a lovely boy. In 2018, I got an opportunity to play after so many years, the Marudhar cup. We won it and then there was no looking back.
For the past 4 years, I have been continuously playing many tournaments with the amazing support of my entire family. My husband, Girish, my little one and my in-laws keep encouraging me to play and do my best. I thank God and my family for their love and support.
Very few people know that your team member, Retam Kothari is your sister. Your conduct on and off the field never gives away this relation. Your thoughts on this?
Sweta (lets out a hearty laugh): Yes, my sister, Retam and I have played many tournaments together and won. It’s a different high when my elder sister is not only part of the team but is always encouraging me to do my 100 percent best. I get a lot of positivity and power from her. She is a source of positivity and inspiration to everyone in the team. It feels nice to have this unique bond with her.
We are both sports persons, and thus our personal relationship never comes in the way of the sport. When we are in a team, we play our roles for the upliftment of the team. As I said earlier, cricket is a team sport and we are never bigger than the game.
A married Marwari bahu, a mother, wife, business woman and cricketer! Wow! How do you find time for all the different roles in your life?
I divide my time between work, family, motherhood and cricket – I allocate time for everything and stick to the schedule. As a married woman, time for self is a luxury but if one really wants, one can take out the time to follow their passion.
What are your thoughts when you come to the crease? How do you deal with the expectations of your fans and followers?
Sweta (stares briefly at a distance, takes a deep breath and says): I always strive to give my 100 percent. After every game, I analyse my performance and work on my mistakes. Even after so many years of playing cricket, the first 10 seconds at the crease make me really nervous. But once the ball is bowled, I forget everything and only concentrate on giving my best. My team becomes the most important person in my life and making them win is where all my energy is focussed.
What are your thoughts about women and sports? Any message for our readers?
Sweta (takes a pause and then says): I feel every woman must play some or the other sport, it not only helps to keep fit but builds a sense of confidence. Personally, I would want to play cricket till the end of my life or till my stamina lasts.
Every girl should be allowed to follow her dreams and passion. When you allow girls to do so, sky is the limit to what they can achieve. It’s a sincere request to all who are reading this article: Celebrate Womanhood every day, not just once a year.
I complete the interview and leave the cricket ground as a happy and enriched individual.
Did Sweta’s story inspire you? Leave a message in the comment box, I would love to hear from you.
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