Farmer’s daughter creates cricketing history in Bristol

KOLKATA/DEHRADUN: Sneh Rana’s fighting knock of unbeaten 80 at No. 8 helped India draw the one-off Test against England in Bristol on Saturday In the process, she became the first Indian woman and fourth overall to have both a fifty plus score and a 4-wicket haul on Test debut.
Sneh, 27, hails from a farmer’s family in Sinaula on the outskirts of Dehradun. What made the 27-year-old’s performance stand out was the fact that she turned out for India Women just two months after her father Bhagwan Singh Rana’s death due to heart attack.

“She was very upset after papa passed away, but did not give up training,” elder sister Ruchi said. “It was like a balm for her, even though we knew she was in distress.”

“She was very upset after papa passed away, but did not give up training,” elder sister Ruchi said. “It was like a balm for her, even though we knew she was in distress.”
Sneh was out of India reckoning for five years and has just returned to all formats after a gap of five years.
Sneh’s journey started as a nine-year-old at the Little Masters Cricket Academy. She was picked during a talent search tournament in Sinaula. “She was too shy to play in front of us. Our academy coach Kiran Sah coaxed her to bat. She was exceptional,” coach Narendra Sah, Kiran’s husband, said.
“Sneh has given a fitting tribute to her father through her performance which has incidentally come just a day before Father’s Day,” said Kiran. “It is an extremely proud moment for all of us and a reward for Sneh’s decade-long dedication and hard work. She came to me for coaching when she was nine years old,” said Shah.

“Sneh has given a fitting tribute to her father through her performance which has incidentally come just a day before Father’s Day,” said Kiran.

“She was very upset after papa passed away, but did not give up training,” elder sister Ruchi said. “It was like a balm for her, even though we knew she was in distress.”
Sneh was out of India reckoning for five years and has just returned to all formats after a gap of five years.
Sneh’s journey started as a nine-year-old at the Little Masters Cricket Academy. She was picked during a talent search tournament in Sinaula. “She was too shy to play in front of us. Our academy coach Kiran Sah coaxed her to bat. She was exceptional,” coach Narendra Sah, Kiran’s husband, said.
“Sneh has given a fitting tribute to her father through her performance which has incidentally come just a day before Father’s Day,” said Kiran. “It is an extremely proud moment for all of us and a reward for Sneh’s decade-long dedication and hard work. She came to me for coaching when she was nine years old,” said Shah.
Recalling how Sneh got moulded into an all-rounder, Kiran said, “In our academy, girls are forced to face the pace bowling of big boys and that is why they get to hone different aspects of their cricketing skills.”
Sneh went on to play for Haryana and Punjab in the U-19 and senior levels before being selected for Railways. She made her India debut in 2014.
The road to this day has not been an easy one for Sneh. A knee injury and a string of poor performances saw her fall out of favour with the selectors. Until Wednesday, Sneh had played 12 limited overs matches for India, having made her international debut against Sri Lanka in 2014. Her only appearance away from home was in the 2016 ODI tour of Australia and her last T20I match was against Sri Lanka at home that year.
However, Sneh did not lose hope. Determined to make a comeback, she joined the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy. “She was recovering from a knee injury, and I got her connected to the U Mumba kabaddi team physio. She gradually recovered and started working on her all-round game,” said coach Manoj Rawat. “I spoke to her almost every day during the Test and encouraged her to prove herself as a batter.”
An all-format pick for the tour, Sneh returned to the side on the back of her domestic performance in the 50-over format earlier this year. She led Railways in the league stage and was the highest wicket taker with 18 scalps. With the bat, her 160 runs at a strike-rate of 123.07 in the middle-order was pivotal to their victorious campaign.
“She is very cool as a leader and never panics in difficult situations. She reads the game very well,” Railways’ teammate Shubh Lakshmi Sharma said.

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