From Pune to Australia: Lisa Sthalekar's life story is 'quite cool'

At a young age, Lisa was introduced to cricket by her father in the backyard of their home in Australia. She turned out to be a natural.

Born in Pune, Lisa was adopted by Haren - an Indian-origin Australian - and Sue Sthalekar, when she was three weeks old.   -  Getty Images

Former Australian women’s cricket team captain Lisa Sthalekar describes her life story as “quite cool”.

Born in Pune, Lisa was adopted by Haren - an Indian-origin Australian - and Sue Sthalekar, when she was three weeks old.

Lisa and her family first moved to the United States of America, and later to Kenya. When Lisa was four, the family stopped at Australia en route to Kingston (Jamaica). This would mark a crucial point in her life journey.

Also read: Lisa Sthalekar inducted into Australian Cricket Hall of Fame  

“My parents were Australian citizens. We were on our way to Kingston, where my father was going to study. We made a stop in Australia for me to become an Australian citizen. When we got to Australia, we decided to stay put there. At the age of 4, I became an Australian citizen, and Australia was my new home,” Lisa, featured in the book ‘Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World’, told Sportstar. The book, published by HarperCollins India, is the third volume in the 'Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls' series.

Lisa has fond memories of growing up in Sydney. “For as long as I can remember, I was always told that I was adopted. So I did not have to deal with any surprise announcement or unveiling. It was a normal life. My story was different from everyone else, which made it quite cool,” Lisa said.

“My mother was white English, and my father was Indian. I looked like I could be their biological child. Many people say I look like my father. It is an interesting conservation. I have many traits of my parents because of how I was raised by them. It has nothing to do with genetics,” she said.

The all-rounder has never sought to find her biological parents. “I already have two wonderful parents, so there is no need to find anyone else,” she said.

Also read: Ian Bishop, Lisa Sthalekar call for more women's cricket events  

At a young age, Lisa was introduced to cricket by her father in the backyard of their home. She turned out to be a natural. “Cricket was Australia’s favourite sport. It was also my way to integrate with the community. I was good at cricket, which helped,” she said.

Lisa turned her passion into an illustrious career, studded with several milestones. A compact batter and offspinner, she became the first woman to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in one-day internationals. Lisa was part of four World Cup winnings squads - at the 2005 ODI WC, 2013 ODI WC, 2010 T20 WC and 2012 T20 WC.

An ICC Cricket Hall of Fame member, Lisa was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame earlier this month.

It sure has been an interesting, rewarding life story. “When I started playing cricket, I didn’t know that organised women’s cricket even existed. I just wanted to play. Cricket is a sport for both sexes. The big lesson from my life would be no matter what obstacles occur, if you are passionate, anything is possible with hard work,” Lisa said.