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Sneh Rana, Daughter of a Farmer Creates Cricket History in Bristol

Sneh Rana's unbroken 80 at No. 8 in the one-off Test against England in Bristol on Saturday helped India draw the match. She became the first Indian woman and the fourth overall to have a fifty-plus score and a four-wicket haul on Test debut in the process.

Chintu Das
sneh rana
Sneh Rana

Sneh Rana (80*) became the 1st player from the Indian women’s cricket team to achieve a 50 and take a 4-wicket haul on debut - her 104-run unbeaten ninth wicket partnership with Taniya Bhatia (44*) helping India to a draw in the one-off Test against England in Bristol.

Sneh, 27, is from Sinaula, a village on the outskirts of Dehradun, and comes from a farming family. The fact that the 27-year-old played for India Women just two months after her father Bhagwan Singh Rana died of a heart attack made her performance all the more impressive. 

“After papa died, she was quite devastated, but she didn't stop training,” said Ruchi, the elder sister. “Even though we knew she was in agony, it was like a balm for her.” 

Sneh began her cricket career at the Little Masters Cricket Academy when she was nine years old. She was chosen in Sinaula during a talent search. “She couldn't play in front of us because she was too shy.” Kiran Sah, our academy's coach, persuaded her to on the field. Coach Narendra Sah, Kiran's spouse, described her as "extraordinary." 

“Through her performance, Sneh has paid an appropriate tribute to her father, which comes just a day before Father's Day,” Kiran remarked. “It's a proud moment for all of us, and it's a reward for Sneh's ten-year commitment and hard work. When she was nine years old, she came to me for coaching,” Shah stated. 

“In our program, girls are forced to face the pace bowling of big guys, and that is why they get to refine different areas of their cricketing skills,” Kiran said of Sneh's development as an all-rounder. 

Before being picked for Railways, Sneh played for Haryana and Punjab at the U-19 and senior levels. In 2014, she made her India debut. 

Sneh's journey to this point has not been simple. She fell out of favor with the selectors due to a knee injury and a succession of disappointing performances. Sneh had played 12 limited overs matches for India before Wednesday, after making her international debut against Sri Lanka in 2014. Her only ODI appearance was during Australia's 2016 ODI tour, while her last T20I encounter was against Sri Lanka at home later that year. 

Sneh, on the other hand, did not give up hope. She enrolled in the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy, determined to make a comeback. “She was recovering from a knee injury, and I connected her with the physiotherapist for the U Mumba kabaddi squad. Coach Manoj Rawat stated, "She eventually healed and began working on her all-round game." “During the Test, I spoke to her practically every day and encouraged her to prove herself as a batter.” 

Sneh, who was an all-format pick for the tour, returned after a strong domestic showing in the 50-over format earlier this year. She was the leading wicket-taker for Railways in the league stage, with 18 scalps. Her 160 runs in the middle order at a strike rate of 123.07 were crucial to their winning campaign. 

“She is a calm leader who never panics in stressful situations. Shubh Lakshmi Sharma, a Railways colleague, remarked, "She reads the game extremely well." 

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