Simran Shaikh, the 21-year-old UP Warriorz middle-order batter, has faced a lot of struggles to make her way in the world of cricket. Hailing from Dharavi, one of the world's biggest slum, she broke through the ranks to become a regular for UP Warriorz. In her childhood days, she was even scolded by people for playing cricket in the park. But now those very people cheer for her whenever she appears on their television screens.
Simran's father Jahid Ali reflected on her struggles, "When my daughter was small she was interested in playing cricket. Whenever she used to play cricket on the ground a lot of people used to scold her and say a lot of things. But my daughter ignored all the noises. She focused on cricket and continued to move forward," Ali said.
It is a tough task for anybody to pursue cricket as a career path. But Simran is now playing in one of the biggest Women's cricket leagues. Her father initially didn't believe that she would be able to reach such a level.
"No, I didn't think that. We are poor people and at that time we were not in a condition to help our daughter. But with God's grace, she was able to move forward. I just want to say that the respect we get today is because of our daughter's skill, hard work and God's grace. A lot of people have supported us," Simran's father continued.
Even Simran's mother Akhtari Bano didn't believe that her daughter could play at such a level. "We didn't believe that she would go on to play forward. I thank the coach as well as God who supported our daughter and us during hard times."
Simran left her studies after 10th class and pursued cricket with everything she had. Now, she has made her parents proud and she has become a well-known cricket player in India. "Earlier she was known by our name but now people recognize us because of Simran. People come and say that she is the mother of Simran. This is a proud moment for me," Simran's mother said.
Akhtari Bano also describe the family's emotions during the Women's Premier League auction. "We switched on the television at 2 pm and we were waiting for her name to come up. She was anxious the whole time. But then her name suddenly came up and my family and even the whole society jumped in excitement," Simran' mother continued.
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Till now, Simran has featured in four matches for her franchise team.