A fierce young woman, Jemimah Rodrigues, is quickly becoming a force to reckon with in international cricket. Recently, while India celebrated Ajinkya Rahane’s century against West Indies, 18-year-old Jemimah was creating history in the 2019 Women’s T20 Cricket Super League in England, away from the spotlight she deserved. Jemimah Rodrigues scored a grand 100 in the Kia Super League in only 51 balls, beating Lizzelle Lee’s previously held record for the quickest century in the tournament. Jemimah’s score of 112 not-out is also the highest by an Indian batswoman in an overseas T20 tournament, a record earlier held by Smriti Mandhana.
Born to Ivan and Lavita Rodrigues, Jemimah Rodrigues grew up in the suburbs of Bhandup, Mumbai. Eventually, the family moved to Bandra, Mumbai to avail better facilities and opportunities in sports for Jemimah and her brothers. As Ivan recollected in an interview, Jemimah began playing with bats and balls when she was only two years old. She went to St. Joseph’s Convent High School in Mumbai, and later, to Rizvi College of Arts, Science, and Commerce. Ivan, who is also her personal coach, was a club cricketer and coached children at Jemimah’s school. Ivan played a key role in starting the girls’ cricket team in the school. Lavita, an avid sports enthusiast, takes care of Jemimah’s diet and nutrition. Jemimah admires her parents’ hard work and motivation. She looks up to them as her biggest inspiration.
Women supporting and learning from women can bring remarkable changes in arenas where women are still heavily under-represented. Jemimah cherishes sharing the dressing room with the likes of Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, and Harmanpreet Kaur.
Jemimah had already made her mark in national youth cricket when she debuted for the Mumbai Under-19 team at only 13 years of age and went on to become one of the top scorers. She eventually set a remarkable record by becoming the second batswoman (after Smriti Mandhana) in the India Under-19 team to score a double century. Jemimah soon became a part of the India A Cricket Team under the leadership of Anuja Patil. She opened with Punam Raut as part of the India Green team at the Women’s Challenger Trophy and displayed her brilliance as one of the top three run-scorers after Punam and Smriti, the skipper of the India Blue team.
Jemimah’s career as a cricketer took a splendid turn when she was included in the One Day International and T20I teams for the 2018 South African tournament. She began receiving global attention when she shined in her debut tournament. She was acclaimed for her impactful 37 runs in her debut T20I where she had a crucial batting partnership with the fiery Mithali Raj. Jemimah Rodrigues describes it as a moment she had been waiting for all her life, which brought her flashbacks of her journey and her family’s hard work.
Jemimah’s score of 112 not-out is also the highest by an Indian batswoman in an overseas T20 tournament, a record earlier held by Smriti Mandhana.
Jemimah describes herself as “positive”, looks up to Rohit Sharma as her “role model”, and dreams of leading Team India to a glorious World Cup victory someday. She sets specific goals for herself every season and wants to contribute to the team’s performance to the best of her abilities. She values her parents’ advice to remain humble off the field and believes that besides her on-field success, she can earn true respect only with humility. Also passionate about hockey, Jemimah was selected for the Maharashtra Under-19 and Under-17 hockey teams. Her initial plan was to pursue hockey but her sudden escalation in cricket led her to become a professional cricketer. She loves playing the guitar and says that she would be a musician if not a sportsperson.
Women supporting and learning from women can bring remarkable changes in arenas where women are still heavily under-represented. Jemimah cherishes sharing the dressing room with the likes of Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, and Harmanpreet Kaur. She is always excited to see first-hand how they practice and prepare for matches. Jemimah has learned a great deal from her good friend and teammate, Smriti. She is inspired by the way Smriti bounced back and balanced her life despite suffering a bad injury. Smriti’s focus on cricket, determination, knowledge of the game, and hard work motivate Jemimah. She admires Smriti for her leadership skills and passionate involvement in team meetings. Jemimah and Smriti displayed their magnificent fielding skills in the South Africa T20Is.
Jemimah hopes that all young girls and women who want to play for India have the courage to dream big. She says in an interview, “If you start chasing your dreams, you will get better, although it may be tough. Keep dreaming because dreams do come true.”
Featured Image Source: Hindustan Times