Step-by-step advice on pathways, clubs, competitions and coaching for getting into girls cricket and women’s cricket in Uttar Pradesh.
As a young girl in Saharanpur, Deepti Sharma was crazy about cricket. She loved playing with her brothers and neighbours. One day, she pestered her father to let her go watch her elder brother practise. She was just going to sit at the side and observe things.
Some girls were practising that day too. By chance, the ball rolled to where Deepti was sitting. Little Deepti returned the ball with such an accurate throw that it hit the stumps. Hemlata Kala, an Indian player, was shocked by what she saw. Convinced that the young girl would play for India, she took her under her wing. The rest is history.
Deepti made her India debut as a teenager, and has gone on to have records in both batting and bowling for India.
And now, she is now giving back to her community. Not only does she have her own academy, but the girls of UP also have a role model!
Here’s how a girl can play cricket for UP.
Where to start
Playing any sport at the locality or school level is always a good place to start. It will give you fitness and mental toughness before you specialise in one sport.
Once you decide to pursue cricket seriously, join a private academy or attend the district-level Under-16 trials that take place.
Selection for the Uttar Pradesh state team
The selection process goes: Trials → Selection matches → State team
At the U16 level, the trials are held at the district level. For this, the Uttar Pradesh Cricket Association (UPCA) or the district association puts out a notice in the paper or the social media pages of the district association or the UPCA Facebook page informing girls about the date and venue of the trials.
Interested girls can register on the UPCA website online, or at the local district cricket association.
Then, they have to go to the venue on the day mentioned with their ID, age proof and any other required documents and showcase their skills at the nets. If the selectors who watch are impressed, they get shortlisted for the state camp and a team is announced.
For the senior women, trials are held at a central location rather than districts. This is usually at Green Park, Kanpur, and then the same process is followed.
The players shortlisted for the selection camp have training and play matches among themselves, with 2-3 teams made.
The top players are then named for the state team.
UPCA is planning to hold a bridge ‘Challengers’ tournament of 4-5 teams to add one more step in the selection process before the state camp. That plan has been affected by the pandemic.
Contact UPCA on 0512-2371480 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Other opportunities to develop your game
There are a lot of private tournaments that are organised in UP. However, if you’re already a part of one of the state teams, please check with your coach if you are allowed to play in these tournaments.
School cricket for girls in UP
While there is no inter-school tournament organised by UPCA, schools do take part in events organised by CBSE or ICSE boards, or the School Games Federation of India. Some schools that have teams are:
- Handa Public School
- Mount Literal Zee School, Meerut
- DPSG Meerut Road Ghaziabad (tennis-ball cricket)
College cricket for women in Uttar Pradesh
UP universities take part in inter-varsity competitions. Some universities and colleges that support women’s cricket are:
- Lucknow University
- Sharda University, Noida
- Neelkanth Group of Institutions
- Purvanchal University
Academies open to girls cricket in Uttar Pradesh
Thrive Cricket Academy, Agra
Star Next Cricket Academy, Agra
Ekalavya Sports Academy, Agra
Ekana Sportz City, Lucknow (has hostel for girls too)
Colvin College Cricket Academy, Lucknow
LDA Cricket, Aliganj, Lucknow
Blaze Willow Cricket Academy, Lucknow (50% off for girls)
Sports Galaxy by MS Dhoni, Lucknow (discount for girls)
SMR Cricket, Lucknow (20% discount and free kit for girls, has hostel facility)
Chhaya Karana Women’s Cricket Academy, Meerut (has hostel facilities)
Meerut Girls Cricket Academy
Game City Arena, Meerut
TNM Cricket Academy Ghaziabad
In Pithoragarh, a small district in Uttarakhand, Sweta Verma’s father, like so many Indians, was a great fan of Sachin Tendulkar. He introduced his daughter to cricket at the young age of eight, and she immediately fell in love with the game, too.
Sweta is from a humble background. Her family’s main source of income was through her father’s cosmetic shop. Unfortunately, her father passed away when Sweta was in her teens. After her father’s sudden demise, her mother, an Anganwadi worker, worked hard to make ends meet. Cricket took a back seat due to her family’s financial needs.
Sweta, however, continued to play gully cricket. Her wicketkeeping skills caught the eye of a local coach and began to train her. His academy took care of the finances as well.
Despite playing gully cricket for years, Sweta had no idea about women’s cricket until her coach introduced her to India cricketer Ekta Bisht, who is also from Uttarakhand. This meeting inspired her to take up the game seriously.
Her coach then encouraged her to move to Uttar Pradesh, as Uttarakhand did not have a BCCI-affiliated state cricket association at that time. Within years, she got into the Uttar Pradesh U19 team, and there has been no looking back.
Sweta has risen through the ranks, thanks to her consistent performances. She has been able to support her family too. In 2021, she was named in India’s squad for the South Africa series. And India cap is the next step.
If you have information on schools, colleges or academies that support girls cricket in Uttar Pradesh, contact us and we’ll add it to this page!