As a schoolgirl, S. Yashasri had been into many sports initially. Cricket wasn’t one of them. Swimming and basketball were.
During an inter-school game, when she watched her teammate Pooja Vanka hitting the ball really hard, she felt she too wanted to bat like that. Since she was tall, she was asked to bowl pace by her coach.
Yashasri’s progress was rapid and she made it to the India Under-19 squad. She was bought by UP Warriorz at the auction for the inaugural Women’s Premier League in Mumbai a few days ago.
“My mother broke the news to me,” the 19-year-old said during an online interaction on Thursday. “I had watched the early part of the auction at our home and then went to sleep.”
The medium-pacer is thrilled that she would be joining a team featuring some of the biggest stars in women’s cricket, like Alyssa Healy, who she believes will make a good captain because she is a wicketkeeper, and Shabnim Ismail.
She is looking forward to receiving some tips from Ismail, one of the finest seamers in women’s cricket. “I would particularly like to talk to her about the mental aspect,” said the Hyderabad girl.
She is delighted that her World Cup winning India Under-19 teammates Shweta Sehrawat and Parshavi Chopra have also been signed up by Warriorz. “Shweta is a brilliant batter and power-hitter,” Yashasri said. “And she has been my roommate on tours as well. She is a good friend and I have known from my time at the NCA, Bengaluru.”
She is grateful to her parents for the way they supported them, though not many would have felt there was a future for a girl in cricket in India. “I did not concentrate on studies and went to school only for the exams. But my parents were okay with it and they asked me to focus on cricket,” said the girl who admires Hardik Pandya, Ben Stoke and Umesh Yadav.