It is good to be a pioneer in a field, but even better if it encourages others to choose that path. Hemali Desai, who is India's first woman cricket scorer, also encouraged four girls to do the same. Working for Saurashtra, they are the only women scorers in the country.
Desai (33), hailing from Rajkot, played for Gujarat in the 1990's. "The game is so close to my heart that I just can't get away from it. When other women of my age settled down, I opted to become a scorer in 1994," said Desai, also a coach and selector of the Saurashtra's women's team.
After passing a test conducted by the Board Of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) three years later, Desai became the country's first online scorer, along with Mumbai's Archana Damolkar. Though the latter quit after marriage, Desai kept up with scoring in nine international matches.
Sejal Dave was one of the first followers to take to the profession. A former state level hockey player from Gujarat, she also passed the test in 2004 to become the second woman online scorer. Also from Rajkot, the 22-year-old has done scoring in four international matches.
"I found it interesting to record scores and took up the profession under Desai's guidance," said Dave.
The third and only married member is Bijal Dattani, who played cricket for Saurashtra for three years. "I stopped playing after marriage last year. I became a scorer after that and I love my job to the hilt," she said.
The other scorers are Riddhi Trivedi, pursuing her bachelor's in business administration, and Niketa Gadhia, who completed her Masters in computer application this year.
Divulging the secret behind becoming a successful scorer, Desai said, "The main factor is the love for the game, and then comes patience to watch each ball that is bowled."