#KnowYourStars: Ekta Bisht – Rise Against All Odds

India has seen a vast number of athletes fighting their way into sports against all kinds of financial, social barriers. Ekta Bisht, a left-handed cricketer is one of the prime example of grit and talent.

Ekta Bisht was born in Almora, Uttarakhand. Her father, Kundan Bisht retired from havaldar post of Indian Army in 1988. Since the age of 6, Ekta was fond of playing cricket. Her interest in the cricket gave her so much confidence that she would play with boys. Being the only girl in a team of boys, people used to come and watch her cricketing skills. Her father had to open a tea-stall because Rs. 1500 pension was certainly not enough to support a family of three children and his wife.

As Ekta’s interest in cricket grew and she had to travel and spend on cricketing needs, it put a strain on her family. But her mother Tara and her father Kundan believed in her abilities and were confident that she would go on to play for India. Ekta herself was a responsible girl and would save the money her parents used to give her.

In 2000, she caught the attention of Almora Stadium’s former coach Liaqat Ali Khan after her all-round performance in one of the local tournament. He was impressed with her game and suggested her to bowl spin than medium pace bowling which shaped her career.

Ekta became the captain of the Uttarakhand cricket team in 2006 and she was also part of Uttar Pradesh state team between 2007 to 2010. But the dream of playing for country eluded her till 2010. Finally the moment arrived in July 2011 when she realized her dreams of playing for the country.

Since then, she has never looked back and gave many scintillating performances. She took ODI hat-trick only a year after her debut. She had the immense contribution in India’s dream run to finals of 2017 Women’s ODI world cup. She was the only woman to feature in ICC’s ODI and T20I team of the year 2017.

Uttarakhand state government has awarded her with “Uttarakhand Khel Ratna” award for her contribution to the sports coming from difficult background and attaining such success.

While she is travelling for her matches most of the times, she makes sure to be in touch with her elder sister who works in Indian Army canteen and her brother who runs a tent house and a general store. She is a pride not only for her family but for India too.

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