Step-by-step advice on pathways, clubs, competitions and coaching for getting into girls cricket and women’s cricket in Goa.
As a young girl in Goa, Shikha Pandey remembers spending hours playing gully cricket and playing catch with her father. But she was 17 years old when she took up cricket seriously and started going for formal coaching. Today, she’s a leading bowling all-rounder for India, as well as an officer with the Air Force!
While Shikha’s story goes to show that you don’t have to start too early to play cricket, many of her state teammates today have begun at a lot younger age.
In 2017, the team, which was a good mix of youth and experience, won the all-India Senior Women’s One-Day Plate Trophy, showing just how much talent the state has, despite its small size.
Here’s how a girl can go about becoming a cricketer in Goa.
Where to start
A girl in Goa can get started by joining a cricket club or coaching centre in the state. The Sports Authority of Goa has several grounds and facilities for various sports, including cricket.
The Goa Cricket Association (GCA), which runs women’s cricket, has facilities in Sanguem too, but the main centre is at Porvorim.
How to get selected to the Goa women’s team
Selection to these teams is by open trials.
- Keep an eye out for announcements of the trial dates. These will usually be available in local newspapers and on the GCA Facebook page.
- Appear for the trials on the day and time mentioned, with the required documents. Usually separate trials are held for junior and senior age groups.
- Selectors watch players perform on that day, either in open nets or in matches.
- They then prepare a list of probables, who are called for a camp.
- At the end of the camp, the final state team is selected.
There is no official T20 league for girls cricket in Goa, but in 2021, an organisation called Visual Link Cricketers organised a women’s T20 league that had the blessing of the GCA.
GCA’s main centre is at Porvorim. The academy there has indoor nets and gyms, and both men and women are allowed to equally use the facilities.
Contact GCA on 0832-2416844 or on the Goa Cricket Association Facebook page
School cricket in Goa
Schools in Goa take part in tennis ball tournaments. Some schools that have had teams in recent years are:
- The King’s School, Margao
- SS Samiti’s High School, Ponda
- Our Lady of Grace High School, Bicholim
- Shantadurga Higher Secondary School, Bicholim
- Sharada English High School, Marcel
- PES Higher Secondary School, Ponda
- Govt High School, Amona
While these school tournaments aren’t run by the GCA, the association does keep an eye on performances in them.
Until 2017, the association used to run U16 tournaments for girls in T20 and 40-over, and 15-overs for U17. But this has been discontinued.
College cricket in Goa
Goa University has a team for inter-varsity games. Apart from that, some colleges that support women’s cricket are:
- Govt College, Khandola
- DMC College, Mapusa
- Zantye College, Bicholim
- Ganpat Parsekar College, Arambol
Other opportunities to develop your game
- The State Tribal Sports Festival organised by the government sometimes has tennis ball cricket.
- The Goa Tennis Ball Cricket Association is fairly active, organising school-level tournaments.
- In 2021, the team from Goa won the first ‘Underarm Cricket Premier League’ in the U14 category 🤷♀️
Note: While these competitions are not recognised by the GCA, they may be fun experiences.
Scholarships and financial aid
GCA provides some aid to girls on a need basis. The association also provides kit and equipment for the players.
The GCA has also distributed some equipment to schools.
Cricket became Shikha Pandey’s companion when she was six, thanks to her father’s love for the game. After moving cities due to his job, the family settled in Goa where Shikha’s first step towards professional cricket began.
When Shikha was 15, former Mumbai cricketer Surekha Bhandare saw her playing and urged her father to send Shikha to Mumbai for proper practice. At the same time, she got the state-wide third rank in her Class 10 board exams. For the next three years, studies took centre stage. Cricket aspirations returned during her second year of electronics and electrical engineering.
Her performance in the Rani Jhansi Trophy, an inter-state two-day tournament in 2007-08 got her into Goa’s U19 and zonal squads. She juggled cricket and college back then. She would hit the gym in the morning and then in the afternoons, she would travel 12km to train. After finishing her degree in 2010 and declining three job offers from multinational companies, Shikha took time to follow her cricket passion.
A disappointing 2011 took her back to studies. She passed her common entrance exam, joined the Air Force as a trainee and soon became an air traffic control officer.
The hard work paid off in 2013-14. She made her international debut, and hit the winning runs in a famous Test win against England. She is now one of India’s lead bowlers. Shikha Pandey’s journey is indeed an inspiration for anyone wanting to balance studies and cricket.
If you have information on schools, colleges or academies that support girls cricket in Goa, contact us and we’ll add it to this page!