‘Ignore negativity, focus on your goals’
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‘Ignore negativity, focus on your goals’

Srinagar, Mar 4: The only J&K player to be selected for the Women’s Premier League, JaisaAkhtar of Kashmir, has advised young women who want to play cricket to ignore criticism and follow their ambitions.

During the first Women’s Premier League (WPL) player auction, Delhi Capitals acquired JasiaAkhtar, the best female cricketer J&K has ever produced. Jasia has already started participating in regular workouts with the rest of the Delhi team.

On Saturday, Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Giants square off at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai to kick off the WPL’s historic first season. Five clubs will compete in the first edition, which will have 22 total matches and a final on March 26 at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.

When questioned about how it feels to practise with the team and world-class athletes in a world-class facility, Jasia responded, “I am having a great time here, as I have been doing with my colleagues since Day 1. I spend a lot of time with foreign players in particular. They have a strong mindset and are highly knowledgeable about even the smallest details of the game, so I have been talking to them and attempting to learn from them”.

Jasia claimed that the Delhi Capitals’ foreign trainer has been helping her improve her power hitting.

“Here, training is completely different, and I’m loving every minute of it. The team’s foreign trainer simplifies everything, and we focus mostly on power, strength, and hitting skills, “explained Jasia.

While the J&K men’s squad features players like ParvezRasool, Umran Malik, and Abdul Samad, Jasia is the first J&K women’s cricket player to have consistently performed at the highest level on an individual basis.

The lack of professionalism in the J&K women’s cricket arena has forced this multi-talented cricketer from the Shopian area of Kashmir to opt for outside teams where she is in high demand.

In the last five years, Jasia has emerged as one of the top women cricketers in India in the National arena. After initially playing for Punjab in National events, Jasia shifted to Rajasthan leading them to qualification in One Day and T20 tournaments. She was last season’s captain of the Rajasthan team.

The Shopian-born cricketer has a strong message for upcoming female cricketers of Kashmir.

“My message for the upcoming cricketers is that they should know that without hardwork nothing can be achieved and also one has to look after their fitness levels. Belonging to a cold place like Kashmir where we have a limited season, the focus on fitness becomes extra important,” Jasia said.

She said that one should not care about negativity while chasing your dreams.

“Yes, if we have to achieve something and achieve our dreams, then we don’t have to look behind and have to carry on. The start isn’t going to be easy and moving forward is going to be really hard. Lot of negative people and comments will be surrounding you but if you want to chase your dreams, you need to avoid all that negativity and carry on,” Jasia said.

“Now the female players of Kashmir also have to achieve something big and make their parent’s proud,” she added.

Jasia this season was in terrific form emerging as the top and second-top run-getter in the Country. In the Senior Women’s One Day tournament, JasiaAkhter scored 501 runs in the nine matches played this season. She has scored two centuries and one fifty. She averages 62 with the best score of 155*. She stands at top of the table in the highest run-getters list.

In the senior women’s T20 tournament, JasiaAkhter scored 273 runs in the seven matches played with an average of 45. She has hit one century and two fifties with the best of 125 not out. Her strike rate in the T20 tournament is 138 and stands in second place in the highest run scorers list.

In January 2019, Jasia was named to India Red’s team for the 2018–19 Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy.

JasiaAkhtar was part of the IPL Trailblazers team in the Women’s T20 Challenge led by SmritiMandhana in 2019.

JasiaAkhtar has played for Mohammedan Sporting Club in the Dhaka Premier Division Women’s Cricket League in Bangladesh.

Jasia on several occasions has come close to making it to the National team. Playing for India-D in Challenger Trophy, Jasia scored 47 run knock to lead the side to the title win.

Jasia has been part of Zonal teams, India camps, and India A B D sides multiple times and is yet to cross that final hurdle of making it to the National side.

Apart from that Jasia has also excelled in various other sports disciplines.

For two years she represented J&K in athletics at the National level.

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