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Durga with Anjum Chopra and Isa Guha

When Guha, Chopra and Jones made young Durga very happy

WT20I Tri-Series, feature

The youngster turned up at Brabourne Stadium to meet her heroes, and they made time for her in the middle of a hectic commentating schedule.

Photo: Women’s CricZone

England got their campaign in the Twenty20 International tri-series up and running with an eight-wicket win over Australia at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium on Friday 23 March.

But even as Natalie Sciver, Jenny Gunn and Tammy Beaumont were running the Australians ragged, a wonderful story was developing outside the playing area. Durga, a Grade 6 student, had bunked school to be at the venue, armed with a cricket bat. It turned out that she is an enthusiastic cricketer who plays with her male friends, and had come across in the hope of meeting some of her heroes.

When some members of the all-star commentary team – Isa Guha, Anjum Chopra and Mel Jones among them – came out for a stroll during a break, Durga spotted the familiar faces and wanted to say hello. Not possible, said the guards. But a good Samaritan involved with Women’s CricZone, saw what was going on and set about trying to fulfill the youngster’s wish.

A tweet went out soon after, and Jones replied almost immediately, saying, “We’ll come to her then! Hang tight.”

Jones couldn’t get out right then, but Durga didn’t have to ‘hang tight’ for too long as Guha and Chopra turned up soon enough. And Jones, once the match was done, hurried across for a quick hug and photograph too before rushing away for the post-match presentation ceremony.

Later, Jones said, "I just met a girl here today, who I would like to think is the next Jhulan Goswami. She took the day off from school, was in her cricket whites, she had her cricket bat. She's come along because she loves her cricket and she wants to play cricket for India. And we have a saying in Australia - not just Australia but around the world - you can't be what you can't see.

"So if Jhulan Goswami didn't sit at that 1997 World Cup final at Eden Gardens, and see female cricketers in front of big crowds, in a World Cup final, she may never have have thought 'I want to do that'. She saw it and thought 'I can do that.' So for this little girl here today, hopefully it's the same kind of experience."

If the photographs are an indication, young Durga certainly went home thrilled and it's little moments like this that can make such a big impact upon inspiring the next Mithali Raj or Jhulan Goswami to keep pursuing this wonderful sport of ours.

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