Saika Ishaque is a name that has been making headlines in Indian cricket lately. The left-handed batter from Kolkata, West Bengal, has been impressing cricket fans with her stellar performance in the Women's Premier League 2023 season. But the road to glory hasn't been an easy one for Ishaque. Let's take a closer look at her life and career, including the people who have supported her during tough times.
Early Life and Struggles
Ishaque was introduced to cricket by her father, who passed away 15 years ago. She started playing at a young age and went on to play in the U16 and U23 Bengal teams. She also won the U23 Women One Day Trophy in 2018-19. However, in 2018, a shoulder injury put a pause on her cricket career for a couple of years. After her return, Ishaque struggled to pick wickets and was eventually left out of the Bengal side.
Support from Shibsagar Singh
In 2021, Ishaque was introduced to former Bengal left-arm spin all-rounder Shibsagar Singh, who helped her make technical adjustments. Singh observed that Ishaque was bowling very full and not letting the ball turn enough. He asked her to pull her length back a touch, which allowed the ball to deviate. He also advised her to concentrate on bowling in the right way instead of trying for wickets. Ishaque's mindset slowly began changing, and her focus shifted to bowling one ball at a time.
Mumbai Indians Women picked up Ishaque for her base price of INR 10 Lakhs in the WPL 2023 auction. In her debut match against Gujarat Giants, Ishaque bagged 4 wickets and led Mumbai Indians Women to victory. She went on to take 2 wickets in her second match against Women RCB and became famous for her performance against Delhi Capitals Women, where she dismissed inform Shafali Verma in the 2nd over and went on to dismiss Meg Lanning and Jemimah Rodrigues in the same over. Ishaque also played a vital role in Mumbai's 4th consecutive victory against UP Warriorz by taking 3 wickets. In Mumbai's 5th league match against Gujarat Giants, she bagged 4 wickets for just 11 runs.
Saika Ishaque's journey to success in women's cricket is a story of overcoming struggles and persevering in the face of adversity. With her impressive performance in the Women's Premier League 2023 season, she has proven that hard work and dedication can pay off. We can expect to see more of her in the future as she continues to make her mark in the world of cricket.