CHENNAI: Kashvee Gautam, only 16, on Tuesday became the first woman from the country to claim a 10-wicket haul in a match. The right-arm medium pacer helped Chandigarh bowl out Arunachal Pradesh for a paltry 25 in 8.5 overs in their Women’s U-19 One Day Trophy at Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh, thus winning the match by 161 runs. En route to her historic feat which she attained in 4.5 overs, the bowling all-rounder trapped six batswomen in front, while bowling the remaining.
A 100m sprinter, who was also a professional skater, Kashvee decided to focus on cricket around five years ago but not before winning a bronze medal in the U-14 Inter-State Athletics Championships. She represented Punjab in domestic cricket tournaments in the previous two seasons before turning out for Chandigarh, which became a BCCI associate unit this season. “I claimed seven wickets in the previous match against Jammu and Kashmir. The thought of picking up all the wickets never crossed my mind until I claimed the eighth. It was then I started thinking about it. I was a bit nervous too but at the end, I managed to attain the feat,” the Class XI student told this daily.
Eldest among two sisters, Kashvee started playing cricket professionally under coach Nagesh Gupta. “He asked me to focus on cricket. He helped me in ironing out my flaws and developing my strengths,” she added. Her father Sudesh Kumar owns a real estate business. Though no one from her family is into sports, Kashvee, who was also the leading run-scorer for her team with a knock of 49, believes it was only because of her father she decided to pursue a career in sports. “He is a fitness freak. He always encouraged me to follow my passion.” It all started with gully cricket and Kashvee, like most of the women cricketers in India, was forced to hide her identity in beginning. “It happened when I started but only for a brief period of time. However, I still prefer to play with boys as it helps me in improving my game,” she added.