Growing up and going away from home does not take us away from memories of our moms’ nurturing. She had cuddled us when we needed a hug, nudged us on when faced with a hesitant decision and chided us with a strong word when we blundered. So it’s not just on Mother’s Day that we remember her, we do that every single day thanks to her omniscient traits. Any field you choose as your career path, a mother’s hand is the one that has given you the push.
Having said that, the times before the millennium changed, did not favor a career path in sports, not even for the present day’s cherished game of Cricket. A boy passionate about the game wishing to seriously pursue it was looked at with disdain. It could not have been easy for the mothers of such boys to extend support or encourage them to follow their passion. Trapped by the decision of making their boy choose a safer and well-trodden path of a professional course or letting them follow their dream of playing for their countries, mothers faced a constant battle. Not to forget the fact that they knew close to nothing about the game with no guide from the Television or other sources that we are blessed with today. They could only listen, feigning interest and working up enthusiasm at their boys’ excited recounting of the runs scored on that day or the number of wickets taken!
Still, listen they did and most definitely encouraged. And gave the world some of the best batsmen, bowlers and all-rounders who went on to create history and haven’t stopped! A quick list of Cricket moms would be-
Devki Devi– To put it simply, Devki Devi is the captain of our very own Indian team captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni admits that as a boy, he was closer to his mother and basked in her care. Even today, she cannot stop talking about her son and why not? Every achievement of his is a feather in her cap!
Saroj Kohli– Saroj Kohli shares a close bond with her son Virat spending time whenever possible. To him she is the perfect mother always being there to help him make the right decisions at the right time.
Shabnam Singh– Shabnam Singh is popular not just because she is Yuvraj Singh’s mother but because of the strong support she extended to her son in his fight against cancer. She continues to play a vital role in YouWeCan, an initiative by Yuvraj, to create consciousness on cancer prevention, early detection and fight against stigma. Shabnam Singh has always been a pillar of strength to Yuvraj right from his school days understanding his many moods and thus succeeding in bringing out the best in him.
Krishna– She is not only Sehwag’s mother but his biggest fan too! In addition Krishna acts as a source of his inspiration with her encouraging words and phrases which Sehwag thrives on and takes him closer to pursuing his goals.
Rajani Tendulkar- Sachin Tendulkar progressed from a boy who loved cricket to a man who lived cricket all because of the constant encouragement and support of his parents. His cricketing life came a full circle of sorts when his mother Rajani Tendulkar, who had never watched him play in a stadium, witnessed his final and 200th test match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. On the launch of his autobiography, Sachin gifted the first copy of the book to his mother and glowed in her pride!
Beverly Waugh– A competitor for Rajani Tendulkar is Beverly Waugh! While Sachin may have scored the most number of Test runs it is still lesser than the twin score of what Beverly Waugh’s twins, Steve and Mark adds up to! Her two other sons Dean and Danny had a stint in cricketing career as well. Steve credits much of his and Mark’s achievements to their parents who were talented sports people too.
Jeanne Chappell– An Australian cricket mom who was virtually surrounded by a cricket family from her childhood to motherhood is Jeanne Chappell. Her father was Vic Richardson and her sons, Ian, Greg and Trevor Chappell and all of them except Trevor, were Australian captains. Surely, her wash load of sports gear would have almost always outweighed the rest of her family’s clothes!
Every mom has stories to tell about her children, but when it is the turn of a cricketing mom, the stories will most definitely fill a book. A hearty salute to the nurturers of such great personalities!