Step-by-step advice on pathways, clubs, competitions and coaching for getting into girls cricket and women’s cricket in Mumbai.
Crowded homes, streets and trains don’t bother them. Nor do the monsoon rains or the endless commutes. Mumbai’s cricketers pursue their passion for the game despite all inconveniences and come out stronger!
Here’s how you can join that great tradition!
Where to start
Some of the biggest stories of Mumbai cricket have started on school grounds and in the gullies outside home. All those basic skills you pick up there will be useful later on!
Many schools offer cricket classes, so get involved at that level. Then, if you’re ready, go try out at a summer camp organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
These MCA summer camps are held in April-May across the city. MCA puts out a notice in newspapers or on its website about the dates and venues of the camps and trials. Which camp you go to depends on:
- Where you live
- How old your are
- And if you are selected on the day of the trials.
Where you live: Mumbai city is divided into many centres. There used to be 12 centres for girls, but this number has come down and has been changing year to year. You can only go to the centre allocated to your area.
How old you are: Separate summer camps are organised for Under-16, Under-19 and Under-23 age groups. But sometimes in previous years, there have also been summer camps that are open to all ages.
For example, the MCA will say that for U16 camps, your centre will be Islam Gymkhana if you live somewhere between Churchgate and Mahim or Mulund, and at Kamath Memorial at Shivaji Park if you’re in the U19 age group from the same area. Similarly, the centre will be Dadoji Kondev Stadium if you are an U16 player living Thane onwards.
Virar, Vashi, Goregaon, Kandivali, Navi Mumbai, Ghatkopar have been centres too.
Selectors are present when the girls first come to the centres and give trials – that is, when they show the selectors their skills in the nets.
The most skilled players or the ones who show potential in the trial are enrolled in the summer camps for their age.
In addition to this, there are some centres reserved for senior girls and girls who have already been a part of the system for a while. Here there is a little more flexibility with location of residence. These are:
- Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana
- BKC Complex
- Police Gymkhana
- Islam Gymkhana
How to get selected to the Mumbai women’s team
Mumbai has Under-16, Under-19, Under-23 and senior women’s teams.
The selection process for each of those teams is slightly different. Besides, in the last few years there have been a few changes. But broadly, here’s how a girl can grow up through the system
Trials → Summer camp → Bridge matches → Selection matches → State team
At the summer camps, the U16, U19 and U23 girls play inter-centre matches.
The top performers in these matches get into non-summer camps where they get further training.
At this level, MCA holds a bridge tournament. The format isn’t fixed and has players of all age groups:
- In 2020, it was called Challenger Trophy. Five teams played 40-over matches, with a final at the end.
- In 2021, MCA held a Women’s Tournament. Four teams played 50-over matches in a round-robin format with finals.
The best players are the ‘probables’ who move on to the next stage.
For the senior team, the MCA may at this point again call for open trials, or hold selection matches. In the 2020-21 season, two teams of probables played two selection matches before the senior team was announced.
For the junior team, especially U16, a team might straightaway be announced after the camp.
Contact MCA at email@example.com or + 91-22-22795500
School cricket for girls in Mumbai
Several Mumbai cricketers have come up through the school system. There are plenty of schools that have girls teams and offer cricket coaching for girls. Some of these are:
- Shardashram Vidyamandir, Dadar
- St. Columba School, Gamdevi
- St. Francis Xavier School, Bhandup
- St. Joseph School, Bandra
- IES Navi Mumbai High School
- Lokpuram Public School, Thane
- Swami Vivekanand International School, Kandivali
- Smt. Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane
- Vasant Vihar High School
- Sri Ma Vidyalaya School, Thane
MI Junior is an U16 girls school tournament organised by Mumbai Indians, with the finalists getting to train with the IPL team’s coaches.
DSO (District Sports Office) also organises city and state-level tournaments for girls cricket, at the U14 and U17 level.
College cricket for girls in Mumbai
College cricket is reasonably popular among Mumbai’s women. Mumbai University sends a team to the inter-varsity competitions. The main colleges with women’s teams are:
- Rizvi College, Bandra
- DG Ruparel College, Matunga
- Khalsa College, Matunga
Other opportunities to develop your game
There are lots of one-off inter-club and private tournaments that take place in Mumbai. If you are already registered with the MCA, please get permission from your coaches and managers before taking part in any of these tournaments.
Ajit Ghosh T20 Tournament: Spearheaded by former cricketer Arundhati Ghosh, it is a regular inter-club tournament run with the approval of the MCA. Teams that have taken part recently are: Mumbai Police Gymkhana, Gay Cavalliers, Kamat Memorial, Payyade SC, John Bright Cricket Club, Dahisar Sports Club, Sporting Union Club.
Dahisar Sports Club organised a T20 tournament in 2020. Clubs that took part include: Bhosale Cricket Academy, Kingly Sports Club, SK Academy, Kamath Memorial, Golden Star Academy, Nidhi Tandel Academy.
Notable academies for girls in Mumbai
- Kamath Memorial at Shivaji Park was started by Mumbai’s famous coach Ramakant Achrekar. His student, former cricketer Surekha Bhandare, runs the coaching centre for girls. Free coaching is available for girls in need.
- Female Cricket Academy at Shivaji Park is exclusively for girls. They also distribute kits to girls in need. Former cricketer Gargi Banerjee is associated with it.
- Yuva Multi-sports Academy, Dombivali
Many of the clubs and academies charge a nominal fee or offer free coaching to girls in need.
MCA gives out a Sharad Pawar scholarship to three girls in the age group 12-19. This is aimed at helping those from economically weaker backgrounds get funds for their coaching, school fees, equipment or any medical help they may need.
Salaam Bombay uses sports as a medium of change for underprivileged adolescents studying in municipal schools. Since 2015, they have introduced cricket to around 200 girls. They hold tennis-ball tournaments for boys and girls (suspended during the pandemic).
If you have information on schools, colleges or academies that support girls cricket in Mumbai, contact us and we’ll add it to this page!