Mother’s Day | Mom is the only person I call before a match: Poonam Yadav

"Ever since I started staying away from home due to cricket, I always share things first with her. She is the only one I call before a match," star cricketer Poonam Yadav says.

Poonam Yadav with her mother, Munni Devi.

Parents play the most important role in a child’s life and success. Players come across many ups and downs in their life and they share it first with their parents. The prevailing culture in India is that parents educate their girls and then wash their hands off them after they get married. But my parents were different. When we moved to Agra, my parents realised that I was interested in playing cricket. They encouraged me despite the odds.

My mom supported me a lot during that time. I used to go for practice early in the morning and return late at night. Initially, my mother would scold me for returning home late at night, because it was not safe for girls in a city like Agra. She would worry about me.

My mom has always had to hear the most about me from my neighbours. Everyone would complain to her that I am playing in the rain or not behaving in a way that a girl should behave. But she backed me fully.

 

I was scared of my mom, but she was the one with whom I could share everything. Ever since I started staying away from home due to cricket, I always share things first with her. She is the only one I call before a match.

When I started playing cricket, many people thought that I was not an ODI player. At that time, I just wanted to prove them wrong and I worked hard for it.

My mom gave me strength. When I called her, she could tell that I was crying and so she would console me and assure me that because I have put in a lot of efforts, I will be successful.

During the lockdown, I am lucky to have access to a ground and nets in the railway quarters and so I practise regularly, but my mom never asks me to do any household chores. Right now, she can actually tell me to do the chores since I am free, but she knows that I am training so she won’t tell me anything. One day I made breakfast for her and she was very happy. These are small joys of life and I just want to say – Thank you, Mumma, for being there always!

As told to Shayan Acharya.

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