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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Applause for Richa Ghosh from home team

Cricketer reaches Siliguri, fans jostle for a glimpse

Bireswar Banerjee Siliguri Published 23.03.23, 03:00 AM
Cricketer Richa Ghosh (right) in an open-roof vehicle welcomed in her hometown Siliguri on Wednesday.

Cricketer Richa Ghosh (right) in an open-roof vehicle welcomed in her hometown Siliguri on Wednesday. Passang Yolmo

Richa Ghosh, a member of the Indian women’s cricket squad, was given a rousing welcome as she reached her hometown Siliguri on Wednesday.

Richa, 19, arrived at Bagdogra airport after playing in a number of international tournaments and the Women’s Premier League (WPL) launched by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the first time this year.

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Mayor Gautam Deb and his deputy Ranjan Sarkar welcomed Richa at the airport, along with hundreds of cricket enthusiasts who had reached there to catch a glimpse of her and congratulate her for her recent performances.

From there, she boarded an open-roof vehicle and was escorted to the city by the Siliguri Metropolitan Police. The convoy was accompanied by several cars and bikes of her fans.

Richa then reached Siliguri Journalists’ Club where she was felicitated. Later in the evening, she visited the Bagha Jatin Athletics Club, where she used to practise earlier, and interacted with budding cricketers.

The wicketkeeper-batter who played in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the WPL, said the tournament provided an opportunity for women cricketers of the country to hone their skills by playing with their international counterparts.

RCB appeared to be one of the formidable forces in the WPL as ace batter and skipper Smriti Mandhana, Australia’s all-rounder Elyse Perry, Indian pacer Renuka Singh and England’s all-rounder Heather Knight were in the team. Still, the team ended its maiden tourney in the fourth spot among five teams, with only two wins.

However, this is for the first time that Richa is in her hometown after playing two major cricket tourneys, the ICC women’s world cup T20 in South Africa and the WPL.

“The presence of Virat Kohli (who plays for the same team in the IPL) and his inspirational talks helped us a lot (in the WPL). Yes, many domestic players participated in the tournament for the first time, which perhaps did not go well for the team. But hopefully, we will perform better next year,” Richa said.

The Siliguri girl, who has emerged as a prominent cricketer from Siliguri after Wriddhiman Saha, is aware of the lack of cricket infrastructure in her town.

“A cricket ground here will help more players excel and reach the next level of cricket. But simultaneously, hard work is also needed,” Richa said.

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