27-year-old cricketer Sneh Rana, daughter of a farmer from Dehradun scored an unbeaten 80 at No. 8 in her first international outing since 2016 and helped India draw the one-off Test against England in Bristol. In the process, she became the 1st Indian woman and 4th overall to have a fifty-plus score and a 4-wicket haul on Test debut. What made her resilient performance a great inspiration for aspiring sportswomen of India was that she played for the country just 2 months after her father Bhagwan Singh Rana passed away due to a heart attack. He worked as a farmer in Sinaula a village on the outskirts of Dehradun.

Her elder sister Ruchi explained Sneh’s situation stating, “She was very upset after papa passed away, but did not give up training. It was like a balm for her, even though we knew she was in distress.” Sneh Rana tweeted just after the match, ” Every cricketer’s dream is to don the whites and I am so grateful to have debuted for my country in the longer format. It has been a long wait to be back in an India jersey but has been worth. I am so happy to have contributed with both bat and ball in a hard fought game. And at last, this is for my angel, my father. I am sure he is somewhere up there, watching me, and blessing me every step of the way. Papa, I hope I make you proud.”

Her coach Kiran Shah said, “Sneh has given a fitting tribute to her father through her performance which has incidentally come just a day before Father’s Day. It is an extremely proud moment for all of us and a reward for Sneh’s decade-long dedication and hard work. She came to me for coaching when she was nine years old.” “In our academy, girls are forced to face the pace bowling of big boys and that is why they get to hone different aspects of their cricketing skills,” Kiran added.

Sneh Rana’s cricketing journey was of overcoming obstacles time and again. A knee injury and a string of unsatisfactory performances saw her fall out of favour from the selectors. Yet she didn’t lose hope and joined the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy, Uttarakhand, determined to make a comeback. Coach Manoj Rawat of the Academy revealed, “She was recovering from a knee injury, and I got her connected to the U Mumba kabaddi team physio. She gradually recovered and started working on her all-round game. I spoke to her almost every day during the Test and encouraged her to prove herself as a batter.” Sneh Rana joined Indian national side on the back of her domestic performance in the 50-over format earlier this year. As her Railways’ teammate Shubh Lakshmi Sharma said, “Sneh Rana is  very cool as a leader and never panics in difficult situations. She reads the game very well.”


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