Step-by-step advice on pathways, clubs, competitions and coaching for getting into girls cricket and women’s cricket in Maharashtra.
A daughter of a rickshaw driver in Kolhapur, Anuja Patil grew up watching her father and uncle play club cricket on the grounds of the town. “I bunked classes to watch those matches!” she once said.
Anuja honed her own cricket skills on those very grounds. Despite being far from an urban centre and all the facilities available there, she went on to represent first her state and then India at the highest level. Today, she is able to support her family with cricket.
Anuja Patil, Smriti Mandhana and Devika Vaidya are from among the current batch of cricketers who have represented Maharashtra to have gone on to play for India. They follow in the footsteps of pioneers Shubhangi Kulkarni, a legendary spinner and administrator; Ujwala Nikam, who was India’s first captain in an ‘international’ match; opener Shobha Pandit; and Nilima Joglekar, who is now a match referee. Devika Palshikar, Aarti Vaidya, Soniya Dabir, Amrita Shinde, Anagha Deshpande and Equal Hue’s very own Snehal Pradhan are some of the other India cricketers who played for Maharashtra.
That’s quite a star-studded list! And if you notice, it doesn’t include people who have played for Mumbai or the Vidarbha region.
You can find out about Mumbai and Vidarbha on their respective pages. But the Maharashtra team is made up of players from these districts: Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur, Sangli, Dhule, Nandurbar, Beed, Satara, Ratnagiri, Parbhani, Jalna, Aurangabad, Raigad, Hingoli, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Osmanabad, Sindhudurg, Latur, Nanded.
Here’s how you too can aim to be in the Maharashtra women’s team.
Where to start
Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik, Sangli, Aurangabad, Beed and Jalgaon are some of the more popular centres for girls cricket, where you will find coaching and girls competitions.
Start by joining a private academy or playing at your school. If you can’t join a cricket team right away, don’t worry. Start by playing any sport and develop your fitness and skills; opportunities to get better at cricket will follow.
Pathway to get selected to the Maharashtra women’s team
Maharashtra has teams for Under-16, Under-19, Under-23 and senior age groups.
The path to get there is: Trials → (Club) → Inter-district → Probables → State team
Some cities/districts such as Pune, Nashik and Kolhapur have their own clubs and district teams. Inter-club and inter-district matches are organised here. But these matches don’t always come directly under Maharashtra Cricket Association.
You will need to register with the district association before you play any of their tournaments. This can be done at their offices or online.
The main state selection is via the system of open trials. This means:
- The state association will put out a notice announcing trial dates and venues. Keep an eye out on the MCA Facebook page for this. Your school sports teacher or coach can also keep you informed about this.
- Register for the trails and go to the venue on the day. Show the selectors your cricket skills.
- The best or most promising players from the trails are selected to be the ‘probables’. After a camp, the final players are chosen for the state team.
Facilities across Maharashtra are generally good, and most girls have access to the same grounds and coaching as the boys at the district level.
Contact Maharashtra Cricket Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020-27377162
Pune District Cricket Association at email@example.com or +91-20-2446 4905
Kolhapur District Cricket Association at firstname.lastname@example.org or +91-231-2644165
Other opportunities to develop your game
More than the MCA system, the strength of Maharashtra cricket is because of a lot of matches happening at the grass root level. Some of the competitions that have happened in the last few years are:
Girls Sadu Shinde Cricket League: A regular 20-over inter-club tournament organised by Pune district association. As many as 16 teams take part.
Pune District Cricket Association women’s tournament
Women’s U19 Varroc Cup: Organised by the Varroc Vengsarkar Cricket Academy. Teams from clubs and academies, and a PDCA team take part.
Bhausaheb Nimbalkar Womens Open Inter-district Cricket Tournament: Organised by the Kolhapur District Cricket Association, it has teams from other districts, as well as clubs and academies.
Abeda Inamdar All-India Invitational Women Cricket Tournament: Organised by Azam Sports Association, it features district teams, as well as teams from clubs around the country.
School cricket for girls in Maharashtra
School cricket is popular for girls in places like Pune. Mumbai Indians held their MI Junior school tournament for U16 girls in Pune too. Some schools that have teams:
- Jai Hind School
- AW Sindhu Vidya Bhavan School
- Ahilyadevi High School for Girls
- Angel Mickey Minnie School
- Prodigy Public School
- DES Secondary School
- Aryan World School, Warje
- Abhinav Vidyalaya
College cricket for women in Maharashtra
College cricket is fairly popular in parts of Maharashtra. Although there is no inter-college competition organised by the state association, universities feature in inter-varsity tournaments. Some colleges and universities with teams are:
- Shivaji University
- Kasturbai Walchand College Sangli
- Rajmati Nemgonda Patil College
- Daulatrao Aher Eng.College
Notable clubs and academies for girls in Maharashtra
- PYC Gymkhana, Pune
- Poona Club
- Shirur Sports Club
- Varroc Vengsarkar Cricket Academy, Pune
- Anil Sangaokar Academy, Kolhapur
- SM18 Cricket Academy, Sangli
- Twenty2Yards Cricket Academy, Pune
- Azam Sports Academy, Pune
If you have information on schools, colleges or academies that support girls cricket in Maharashtra, contact us and we’ll add it to this page!