Sports

Minnu Mani, Labourer's Daughter, Becomes First From Kerala to Make It To Indian Women's Cricket Team

The 24-year-old tribal girl, who has been picked for the Bangladesh tour, helped her parents rebuild their house after the 2018 Kerala floods from her earnings.

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Minnu Mani was also part of the WIPL where she was part of the Delhi Capitals.
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Kerala is known as a cricketing backwater. Only a handful of names from the state have donned national colours, all of them belonging to the men’s team. Tinu Yohannan, S. Sreesanth, Sanju Samson and Sandeep Warrier are the four cricketers to represent India from the state. (More Cricket News)

And now, a spirited girl from Kerala has made it to the Indian women’s team. Minnu Mani, an allrounder, has been selected for the Bangladesh tour, which begins on July 9 and consists of three T20Is and as many ODIs. Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the squad.

Minnu comes from an humble background. Her father, Mani CK, earns his living as a daily wage labourer, and her mother, Vasantha, looks after household chores. Belonging to the Kurichiya tribe in Choyimoola, Wayanad, Minnu had to fight opposition to her sporting pursuits in her formative years, including from her parents.

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But she has proved naysayers wrong. Her success has also alleviated her parents’ strife. Minnu helped rebuild their house that got swept away due to landslides during the Kerala floods in 2018.

A Rs 30-lakh contract in the WPL earlier this year with the Delhi Capitals further boosted the family’s condition.

And now, Minnu has got the ultimate honour of being selected for India.

“Life has been tough for me and I am happy my hard work has paid off. I will do my best now that I have got the chance,” Minnu said after the team was announced. “One good thing is in 2019 I had toured Bangladesh with the India ‘A’ team.”

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It was Elsamma Baby, Minnu’s physical education teacher in school, who unearthed her potential and took the talented youngster under her wings. Elsamma convinced Minnu to take the Wayanad Under-13 Selection trials despite her parents opposing the idea. Minnu impressed in the trials. Then, just after a year of playing in the Kerala under-16 team, she was fast-tracked to the senior team at the age of 16.

Last season, Minnu topscored in the Women’s All-India One-day tournament with 246 runs from eight games. She also took 12 wickets.

Now she will try to display her versatility in Bangladesh.

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