Mother’s hard work, Guru’s dedication and inspiration from Kuldeep gave wings to Archana’s dreams
Archana Devi, who lost her father at the age of four, kept her passion for cricket alive even in adverse circumstances, with the help of her mother’s hard work and her mentor’s dedication and the support of Indian cricketer Kuldeep Yadav. Archana Devi Nishad is a member of the Indian team that created history by winning the first Under-19 Women’s World Cup.
Archana Devi took two wickets for 17 runs in three overs in the Under-19 Women’s Cricket World Cup final against England in South Africa. Behind this success, there is a long series of sacrifices, which started with a house made of straw in a small village of Unnao district. Mother Savitri Devi lost her husband due to cancer when Archana was only four years old. In such a situation, it was not easy for him to keep his daughter’s dreams alive.
He knows nothing about cricket but is proud of his daughter’s achievement. Savitri said, I do not know much about cricket but I am very happy to see my daughter playing on the field. Last night while talking on the phone he had said that Amma we have won. Since then Mann is very happy, I wish his Bapu would also join in this happiness. He said, since last night, laddus are being distributed in the village and when the daughters return, they will distribute more laddus.
Archana’s brother said that he was afraid that he might not be able to watch the final due to frequent power cuts, but when a local police officer came to know about this, he sent an inverter and batteries to his house and the whole village supported him. I saw the match on TV. Kuldeep and Archana’s coach Kapil Pandey said, “After winning the match, we talked to Archana on Sunday night who was very happy with her win and now her dream is to play for Team India.”There is an atmosphere of happiness since India’s victory in Ratai Purva village of Ganga Katri in Bangaramau tehsil area of Unnao, about 100 km from capital Lucknow. After the match was over, people in the village also celebrated by singing and dancing.
Rohit told that Archana was admitted to Kasturba Gandhi Residential School in Ganjmuradabad in sixth grade where teacher Poonam Gupta recognized her sporting talent. After completing the eighth standard, Poonam took him to Pandey in Kanpur. Pandey said, when Archana came to me in 2017, I made her bowl and then I came to know about her hidden talent. But he did not have the resources and did not have a place in Kanpur. Her village was about 30 kms from Kanpur and she could not come everyday.
Pandey, with the help of Poonam and some other people, got him a room on rent in JK Colony, Kanpur and made arrangements for his stay and food. After this Kuldeep got him a cricket kit. Pandey said, when Kuldeep was in Kanpur, he would practice with other children, including Archana, and teach them the nuances of cricket. Earlier Archana used to bowl medium pace but later I told her to bowl off spin and then she became a good off spinner.