Sports

Journey of spinner Poonam Yadav

Cricket as a sport has a great impact on India. The status of cricket in India can’t be compared with any other sport. The craze and fan following of this sport are humongous. A cricket season in India is no less than a festive season. People here actually live this sport. But when we talk about the status of women’s cricket then it is different and opposite. Cricket has traditionally been considered a male dominant sport even though women are active in the sport for a long ago. Women’s cricket is still struggling to get the recognition it deserves. Talking about the condition of women’s cricket in India although it is not as popular as men’s cricket in recent times it is gaining popularity among cricket fans. And it is all possible because of the efforts of hardworking women cricketers like former Indian skipper Mithali Raj, fast bowler Jhulan Goswami, batswoman Smriti Mandana and many more. One such name that comes into the picture when we talk about Indian women’s cricket is of spinner Poonam Yadav.

Poonam Yadav is an Indian national cricketer who plays for the Indian national women’s cricket team. She is known for her leg spin bowling based on insights from cricket news for India.

The early life of cricketer Poonam YadavPoonam Yadav was born on 24th August 1991 in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh. Hailing from the city of Taj, Agra, Poonam Yadav’s father, Raghuveer Singh Yadav is retired from the Indian army while her mother Munna Devi is a housewife. Initially, when Poonam Yadav decided to play cricket, she was not supported by her father. And this is not a very different story. The majority of women’s cricketers were initially held back by their families from playing cricket. But Poonam Yadav was determined to play cricket as a result she shifted from Agra to Mainpuri where she used to train at the Eklavya Sports Stadium. There she practiced for almost three years but later decided to quit cricket. During this moment her coach Hemlata Kala persuaded her father to support Poonam in her cricketing career. With support and blessings from her father, Poonam Yadav continued cricket. And today she is such a big name in Indian women’s cricket.

The career of Poonam Yadav

Poonam Yadav made her international debut on 5th march, 2013, through T-20 against the Bangladesh team that came to India back then. Poonam Yadav made her debut in Test cricket on 16th November 2014 against South Africa and her ODI debut was on 12th April 2013 against Bangladesh again. Although she was born in Uttar Pradesh she represented several domestic teams in domestic cricket including central zone and railways.

Poonam Yadav was also part of the Indian team that reach the final of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup. Poonam’s magnificent performance was one of the reasons behind the brilliant performance of the team. Poonam Yadav entered the top five of the women’s T20I rankings in June 2018. She was at number 3 on that list. Later on, she was also named in India’s 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament squad that was held in the West Indies. At that, she was performing so well that everyone was eying her performance in the tournament. She didn’t disappoint either. In that world cup tournament, she was the leading wicket-taker for India. She took a total of eight wickets in five matches. Poonam Yadav managed to become India’s highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 Internationals in September 2018. That year she took 57 wickets in 39 T20Is. One of her achievements is that Poonam became a part of the national cricket team in every T20 match for India in 2018. She was the only front-liner bowler that year to do so.

Poonam Yadav was named in India’s squad for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup that was held in Australia. Though India reached the finals of the tournament but lost to the hosts Australia. In the finals, Poonam’s performance was 1-30 and scored only a single run. She was the last two to get out and confirmed Australia’s victory. Poonam Yadav ‘s best bowling performance was in the opening game against the host Australia who eventually won the cup in that world cup tournament. In that match, she performed brilliantly with figures of 4-0-19-4.

In January 2022, Poonam Yadav managed to be a part of the Indian national team for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup held in New Zealand.

Poonam Yadav was part of Supernovas in the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2019 and 2022. She also managed to play for Brisbane Heat in the 2021–22 Women’s Big Bash League.

For her mind-blowing performance in international cricket, Poonam Yadav was honoured with the Arjuna award in 2019.

Poonam Yadav has a physique that is very suited for cricket. She is only around 5 feet 1 inch tall. Although her short height created hurdles for her to pursue any other sport. But the same height helped her a lot in cricket. Because of her this physique she has to deliver the ball in such a way that it lands near the batsman. She has to give the ball a lot of Flight for that purpose. This flight of her proves to be a hurdle for the batsman. This allows batsmen to come out of the crease to hit the ball as a result it gets easy to do stumping. This is the reason behind most of Poonam Yadav’s wickets being the result of stumping. And it accounts for almost 30%. She also delivers the Googly.

Poonam Yadav’s contribution to the Indian women’s cricket team cannot be overlooked. Her brilliant performance at the international level not only bagged her name and fame but helped Indian women’s cricket to grow. It won’t be any wrong to call Poonam Yadav India’s most successful bowler in women’s cricket. Her hard work and talent helped her achieve all these feats in international cricket. Poonam Yadav’s name will be always be remembered in the history of the Indian women cricket.