Sajana Sajeevan: From paddy field cricket to overnight star for Mumbai Indians |


New Delhi: This is a heart-touching story of victory despite adverse circumstances. dressing up lifeA journey into the humble surroundings of Mananthavady WayanadTo make debut for Kerala, Mumbai Indians Women's Premier League ,WPL) is really inspiring.
The fact that her parents, Sajeevan and Sharda, had their share of daily worries, including financial concerns, adds an additional layer of resilience to the story.

The emotional struggle that Sajeevan and Sharda face after learning about their daughter's debut reflects the sacrifices and hopes that parents invest in their children's dreams.

The scene of him holding back tears and the entire locality celebrating Sajna's success paints a picture of a supportive community rallying behind a local talent.
Sajna's six off the last ball that gave Mumbai Indians a thrilling win is a fairytale ending to her debut. It's the kind of cricketing moment that turns players into heroes and captures the imaginations of fans.
The fact that this cricket fairy tale originates from a village in Wayanad, Kerala makes it even more special, showing that talent can emerge from even the most unexpected places.
The story underlines the transformative power of sport and how it can bring joy and pride to communities. Sajna's journey from humble beginnings in Mananthavady to the grand stage of the WPL serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for aspiring athletes, especially those who are facing challenges in pursuing their dreams.
In fact, their modest financial circumstances prevented them from supporting Sajna's dream of pursuing cricket.
“Our income was not really enough to support his sports activities and travel for tournaments,” Sajeevan told PTI.
“But she was always fond of cricket and used to play cricket with coconut stalks in the paddy field near our house with her friends and relatives.
“One day she met (former Indian cricketer) Gautam Gambhir here at the Krishnagiri Stadium and got a signed bat. Seeing this made us realize her passion for the game.
“Elsamma Baby, a physical education teacher at the local government school, also asked us to encourage her sporting ambitions,” he says.
Sajna's story takes an interesting turn with her selection to play for her district in the Under-19 tournament. This highlights that his cricketing journey was not just a matter of luck, but was supported by his talent and hard work.
The fact that he pursued a degree in political science alongside his cricketing aspirations adds another layer to his character, demonstrating the balance between education and sports.
“I had no money to travel. When I was selected to play for my district, I started earning money, Rs 150 per day as daily allowance. It was a huge amount of money for me.
“Then, it went to 150, 300 and 900. I wanted to feel happy for my parents,” Sajna said in a video uploaded on the MI website.
But that was the first point of his drug trip. He was soon included in the state under-19 team and was later appointed captain.
Over the next decade, Sajna's profile as a useful all-rounder – a hard-hitting batsman and off-spinner – gained some further value as he was also selected for India A.
The first sign of wider recognition came when he entered the auction pool during the first WPL auction early last year.
“Sajna was very nervous that day and didn't even watch it (the auction) on TV. But she was a little disappointed when it failed to attract bids last year,” says Sajeevan.
But a quick pep talk from her current coach K Rajagopal inspired Sajna, who once played a small role in the Tamil film Kaana.
“I told her not to be discouraged after that auction. If you keep performing, the opportunity will definitely come to you again. She is a strong girl and it was just a case of keeping her focus on the game.”
“He did this when there was almost no cricket during the floods (2018) and Covid days. His will to achieve his goal is his strength,” he says.
Sajna's persistence was rewarded late last year when Mumbai Indians bought the 29-year-old from the auction chamber for Rs 15 lakh, which was Rs 5 lakh more than his base price.
“She was very happy. She called all her friends and coaches to thank them. Sajna told us that she never expected to get a contract from Mumbai, the biggest team in the league,” says Sajeevan.
Sajna's impressive debut in the WPL, hitting a match-winning six over long-on off off-spinner Ellis Capsey, is a remarkable achievement.
Scoring the decisive shot in his first WPL appearance not only shows his skill and composure under pressure, but also cements his place as a dynamic player for Mumbai Indians.
being compared to Kieron PollardThe famous West Indies all-rounder, known for his explosive batting and powerful sixes, has been highly praised by his teammates. Yastika Bhatia,
“If you've seen Harry Di (DC Captain) Harmanpreet Kaur) Speaking in the interview earlier, he had mentioned that Sajna is a player to watch in this WPL.
“MI have confidence in her and she is like the Kieron Pollard of the women's team. She has got that role and she has performed really well, credit to her,” Yastika said in the post-match press conference.
Sajna's expectations have also increased with that six.
Sajeevan said, “Sajna now says that she wants to wear the Indian jersey soon like Minnu Mani (Indian cricketer from Wayanad, who played for Delhi on Friday). Hopefully, her dreams will come true.”
(With PTI inputs)

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