Can I play cricket during my period?

Illustration of a girl batting with the pitch being stylistically represented as a pad.

Cricket during period – myths v reality: It’s all about taking control of your menstrual cycle, rather than letting it taking control of you.

Have you heard of Mamatha Maben? Mamatha is a former captain of the Indian cricket team, and she holds the national record for the (joint) best figures in ODI cricket. Back in 2004, she took 6/10 v Sri Lanka. And on that day, she was actually struggling through her period! 

So yes, you can absolutely play cricket during your period. And you may even make history! 

There’s no denying that playing when you’re bleeding may be painful or just plain uncomfortable for many girls and women. Unfortunately in some places, you may also find it hard to find a good toilet at your ground when you need it. 

READ: Grassroots cricket for girls: How to develop the base in India

But if it’s any consolation, millions of girls feel just as horrible as you do. Just remember, there’s nothing to hide or be ashamed of. And most importantly, you don’t have to go through it alone

Many top athletes will say that playing while on your period is about being mentally strong. You just bear the pain and get on with it, because you want to play so badly. Here’s Olympic medallist PV Sindhu talking about how she deals with it with cricketers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues. 

But sometimes, however mentally strong you might be, maybe you just can’t play. And that’s completely normal too. You don’t have to put up with discomfort just to seem tough. 

At such times, speak to your coach. Many of them are understanding and will adjust your practice accordingly. It’s not yet very common in India, but many top athletes around the world plan their training around their cycles to maximise their potential. 

For that, it’s a good idea to track your period. And depending on what time of the month it is, here’s an excellent plan of what exercises you can do in various parts of your cycle.

If you have access to a physio, definitely speak to them. Don’t ignore it if your periods are painful and definitely don’t ignore it if they suddenly stop. Both of those things are your body telling you that something isn’t fully right, so pay attention and speak to an expert. In some cases, menstrual issues can be addressed with the right nutrition. Don’t take medicines or pills without speaking to a doctor. 

It’s all about taking control of your menstrual cycle, rather than letting it taking control of you 💪

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