Like many successful people, Arundhati too has a strong support system in the form of her mother Bhagya Reddy.
It’s a proud moment for Hyderabad. The city’s very own Arundhati Reddy has found an entry into the corridors of the Indian women’s cricket team. Arundhati, who has been chosen for the upcoming ODI and Twenty20 international tour of Sri Lanka, is elated. She can’t wait to finally share the dressing room with her fellow Hyderabad cricketer and Team India captain Mithali Raj.
Arundhati has been overwhelmed ever since she heard the news. “Honestly, I didn’t really expect the call. I was practising and that’s when my friends called and told me the news. I just celebrated the occasion by having dinner with my family and friends, who were already there by the time I reached home,” she says.
The 20-year-old admits that it was an emotional moment. “To get an opportunity to play for the country is a rare honour and it means a lot to me. This is what we dream of when we start playing. I always believed I am going to play for the country one day. I have been working hard for a long time. Now that the opportunity is here, I want to make the most of it,” she reveals.
Like many successful people, Arundhati too has a strong support system in the form of her mother Bhagya Reddy. “She’s been a pillar of strength to me. She was a volleyball player but couldn’t continue due to financial reasons. So she saw herself in me and always aspired to see me playing for the country,” says Arundhati.
Her mother went all out to ensure Arundhati could focus on cricket. “She used to wake up at 4 am and take me to the ground. Then she’d come back home to cook and would drop me to school. In the evening, she used to drop me off at practice and stayed until I finished. So by the time I reached home, it was 9 pm. And no matter how expensive the equipment was, she never hesitated to get it for me. In fact, she always believed in my dream.”
All in all, Arundhati has had a great journey so far. “Last year, I got a job in Railways and it further boosted my confidence. Nooshin Al Khadeer (Coach, Indian Railways) and Savita Nirala (Head coach, HCA) were instrumental in shaping my career,” she quips.
The Hyderabadi all-rounder is constantly working on herself to get fitter. For her, building muscle and bowling faster have been challenging. Arundhati has great respect for Mithali and says this beacon of Indian women’s cricket has always been an inspiration.
“There’s so much to learn from her, not just about cricketer but also about the approach to the game. She constantly gives me tips on various facets of my game. It sort of settles my nerves when I share the dressing room with her,” concludes this young cricketer, who, at the end of the day, just wants to enjoy the opportunity.