THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: For Saranya R S, sports was something she delved in right from her school days. She was an athlete, besides dabbling in hockey and even represented the state team in it. But, her real calling lay elsewhere, which didn’t happen until she finished school. Saranya discovered her passion for cricket only when she stepped into college, thanks to an advertisement that appeared in a newspaper, inviting candidates for U-19 cricket team.
“From the time I was eight, I was active in sports. I was into athletics then. Cricket happened quite late though I always loved it. I used to play with boys and always thought women could excel in it,” says Saranya.
Coached by Biju George, Saranya has played for both Kerala and Karnataka state teams. She was chosen the best woman cricketer in the year 2009-10 by the Kerala Cricket Association for her highly commendable performance.
Today, she is a certified cricket coach and the only woman in the National Cricket Academy. She finds much joy in training cricketers in the Academy camp. She was also with the Kerala Sports Council five months back, during which she conducted camps and workshops for young cricketers.
Her stint with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has sharpened her coaching skills. “There are many talented people in the camp. The most important part is the fitness section. The training starts around 6.30 am is followed by the skill session. The training will impart an extensive playing and technical knowledge to cricketers,” she adds about the nuances of coaching.
At present, Saranya trains 25 men and is worried about the less number of women taking up cricket.
But, she is hopeful about her future. “In Kerala, there are no qualified trainers. So the opportunity given by the BCCI will help me in future where I can be both a trainer and player for my country,” she says. She is all set to get to the ground this year, but doesn’t want to compromise with her training programmes. She says, “I hope that more opportunities will come in future where women come up and embrace this sport.”