What did most of you do at 16 years of age? Completing assignments! Conflicting over the field you’d select- Science, Commerce or Humanities once you clear your boards. Look at the reaction of any other teenager when you say the word ‘Boards’! You can see the many responses- fear, anxiety, tension, altogether. But Richa Ghosh is not just any other teenager. This fearless youngster was part of the Indian Women’s Cricket Team that made its way to the finals of the World T20 Championships at just 16 years of age.
Here’s the inspiring story girl of the Siliguri teenager that made her way to the MCG…
Richa Ghosh Biography
Richa Ghosh was born to Swapna and club-level cricketer and umpire Manabendra Ghosh on the 28th of September 2003 in Siliguri, West Bengal. Inspired by her father and then God of Cricket Sachin Tendulkar, Richa picked up cricket at the age of four.
She would tag along with her father and play with him when he used to travel to cricket matches in Siliguri. While others played cricket for fun, there was something in her. “When we all played cricket for fun, she was always serious when she had the bat with her,” her father said about Richa.
Richa Ghosh Career
Once he realised her talent, passion and seriousness for the sport, Ghosh enrolled Richa into the Bagha Jatin Athletic Club; the same club he played for. As there was no girls’ team, she played alongside the boys itself. Being the only girl in the whole club may affect other girls. But as we said earlier, she is not just any other teenager.
The young girl’s fearless approach to fast bowlers was so impactful that her name used to come up in the U 14, U 18 boys team. “Everything happened so fast that it’s difficult to realise. We are all shocked, but it’s like a pleasant one,” her father said after her selection.
Richa was called up to the U 19 Bengal team at the age of 11; U 23 and senior sides by she was 13. After her senior T20 debut with Bengal in the 2017-18 season, the young batter from Siliguri has gradually developed into one of the side’s premier young batters.
At the end of her debut season, Richa was named as the 2018 Bengal cricketer of the year. In the 2019-20 season, Richa scored a great level of maturity and patience in the finals. Playing against the overpowered Railways team, Richa joined hands with experienced all-rounder Rumeli Dhar to steady the ship before powering them to 121.
Soon she received her call-up under Smriti Mandhana’s India B for the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy. “I knew that the World Cup was this year, and the selection was around the corner. So when I was selected for the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy, I aimed to do well.”
Playing down the order, Richa scored 98 runs in 4 matches. Yes, these may be unflattering numbers, but her positive intent and versatility were enough to win over the team management.
Richa did play two stand out knocks in the tournament. First, a 25 of 26 on a slow track to reach the target of 94 set by India C. Richa came in at 20/2, saw her team fall to 26/4 and led her team to 94/8 to win a thriller of a match. In the reverse fixture, she played a completely different game.
Richa was sent in at 36/2 with both Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues gone. However, her fearless approach surprised the opponents as she swept two boundaries of Arundhati Reddy. Next, she targeted Kshama Singh as she powered a straight six into the stands.
Within no time, India B was back in the driver’s seat, as Richa finished her innings with 36 of 25 balls. “Smriti and Jemi (Jemimah Rodrigues) helped me during batting and even while fielding. The atmosphere was family-like,” she says about playing for India B.
In January 2020, Richa Ghosh was included in the 15-member squad that was travelling for the Women’s Tri-Nation series as well as the Women’s World T20 Championships.
Richa’s call up was justified considering the good outing she had in the T20 Challenger trophy, despite not having a single cap for India. After her selection, Richa revealed it was a dream come true while adding, “I will try to give my best whenever I get a chance.”
Richa Ghosh Family
Richa’s inherited cricketing talent from her father. Manabendra himself played at the Bagha Jatin Athletic Club. He himself was an all-rounder before turning to an umpire. Manabendra was also her first mentor.
“My dad, who has also played cricket at the club level, is my mentor and has guided me at the grass-root level”.
“The experience of my umpire-father will benefit me. He is always updated with the changes in the laws and has been explaining me time to time. This makes me understand the laws of the game, and it has immensely helped me”.
Her father closed his business in 2016 to take care of his daughter. And Richa paid him the best way he taught her, by playing cricket and getting selected for the Indian team.
“It is my father’s birthday on Wednesday and what better gift other than this (inclusion in the national team) I could have given to him…”, she recently said.
“To be honest, I was not expecting the call. First I heard the good news from our senior Bengal team physio (Meenaxi Negi), and obviously, all my family members were pleasantly surprised”, she added. Her mother, Swapna, is a typical housewife. She also has an elder sister, Shomasree, who has studied media science. Today the family lives in Subhas Pally.
Richa Ghosh Unknown Facts
- Sachin Tendulkar is her role model.
- She studies at the Margaret (Sister Nivedita) English school in her hometown of Siliguri.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni is among her favourite players. Just like MSD, Richa started as a wicket-keeper batswoman. She is also known for a six-hitting ability.
- Many coaches played an important role in her development- Manabendra, Shib Shankar Paul, Barun Banerjee, Gopal Saha Bibel Sarkar. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) played an important role in her development as well. It was at one of the CAB cabs where she turned into a medium pacer bowler.
- When she was selected in the squad for the T20 World Championships, she had 2 options- play for India, or attend “Madhyamik exams”. The next day she left to join the Indian team.
- Richa Ghosh comes from the same town as Indian wicketkeeper Wriddihiman Saha. She also received backing from Indian and Bengal fast bowling legend Jhulan Goswami. “Jhulan di always supported me in the team while I always got help from Wriddhi da. He remains busy, but we speak on and off.”
- Watch movies and listen to music are a stress buster for her.
Richa Ghosh Social Media