On Sunday, Titas fulfilled a long-cherished dream of the former pacer by lifting the first World Cup for an Indian women’s team in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
Titas Sadhu bowled an excellent economical spell with bowling figures of 2-6 & bagged the Player of the Match award… https://t.co/XG8tvSWn9P
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) 1675003309000
Titas herself perhaps had never dreamt of this day five years ago. Hailing from a sporting family, Titas started off as a sprinter, like her father Ranadeep, who was a state-level athlete. She was good at swimming too, but cricket happened just by chance.
As a youngster she would visit their family-owned ancestral cricket club, Rajendra Smirti Sangh at Chinsurah, around 40 km north of Kolkata and help out with score-keeping. Her cricketing journey began on a rainy day when play was called off and Ranadeep casually asked her daughter to bowl as everyone had left b y then. Titas was on the mark right from the word go.
However, it was not all smooth sailing for the young girl. She was rejected for the state team when she appeared for a trial a t the age of 13. She made it the next year, but Class X examinations, where she scored over 90 per cent marks, forced her to skip the game that year.
In the post-Covid 2020-21 season, she was called as a net bowler for the Bengal senior side. Coach Shib Sankar Paul was impressed with the girl’s effort. “What impressed me was her ability to generate pace and also swing the ball,” the former Bengal pacer said. It was he who insisted on including Titas in the side and she went on to make her debut for the senior Bengal side as the youngest member at the age of 16.
But things didn’t go her way as she failed to perform in the first two matches and was subsequently dropped. She returned to the side after doing well at a CAB-organized tournaments and went on to become Bengal’s highest wicket-taker with seven scalps from five matches in the women’s T20 tournament last year.
She learned a lot travelling with the senior Bengal side and sharing the dressing room with Jhulan, Rumeli Dhar, Deepti Sharma and Richa Ghosh. Growing in stature, she made the U-19 national side against New Zealand late last year. As the only seamer of the side, the 18-year-old led India with confidence ending up claiming six wickets in this World Cup.
Former India player Gargi Banerjee feels, “If Titas can keep her head down and manage herself well she can become an asset for the senior team too.”
Not getting a chance to share the new ball with Jhulan remains one of Titas’ biggest regrets, but she now has the responsibility to fill up her idol’s shoes. Her cricketing journey begins now.