Priya Punia repays her father for building cricket ground by earning a national call
“I was sure of getting selected then."
Updated - Dec 30, 2018 7:56 pm
The 22-year-old opening batswoman, Priya Punia, who hails from Jaipur did justice to her father’s decision to build a cricket ground so that she could train by earning a national call on December 21. Punia was named in India’s T20 squad which is set to tour New Zealand in February 2019.
Shooter Abhinav Bindra’s father built a shooting range for him to practice and he went on to win Olympic gold. When asked what her father’s decision to build a cricket ground for her would lead to, she replied: “I hope something he can be proud of” and the day has come to finally make her father proud.
Priya’s father Surendra Punia, who was keen to live his unachieved dream of playing for the country, sold his property and took loans to buy a 1.5-bigha plot on the outskirts of Jaipur at Harmada for Rs 22 lakh in 2010. He said he wanted to open a sports complex there but when her daughter showed no interest in badminton but preferred cricket he decided to switch his mind and set up nets and pitch for her to practice.
Priya, a native of Churu in Rajasthan, plays for Delhi in the domestic circuit said she expected a call-up in 2015 after a brilliant domestic season which included a 95 for North Zone against West followed by a brilliant 42 ball 59 runs for India A against New Zealand A. However, after being ignored she did not lose hope and carried on with his brilliant form and has been among the leading run-getters in the domestic circuit for the past two seasons.
I expect to do well in the international arena
The Jaipur girl was expecting a call for the 50-over squad, however, she is ready to take whatever assignment is handed to her with due respect and is eager to perform well in the international arena. Her father believes that her six-hitting capability prompted the selectors to chose her for the shortest format for now.
“I was sure of getting selected then. I was disappointed, but I did not give up. I knew my time would come. I expected a place in the ODI squad, but I will take whatever opportunity had been handed to me. I expect to do well in the international arena,” Punia was quoted as saying in The Times of India (TOI).
India Women’s tour of New Zealand is scheduled to start from 24th January at Napier with three ODI’s which are followed by as many T20I. The tour ends on February 10th with third and final T20I to be played at Hamilton.