Jharkhand U-23 woman cricketer works as labourer in Odisha

Keonjhar: Defying all odds, an underprivileged tribal girl working as a daily wage earner in Odisha’s mineral-rich Keonjhar district has found a place in the under-23 women’s cricket team of Jharkhand.

Meet 20-year-old Pinky Tirkey from Balani colony under Joda block in the district, who is working as a labourer on the railway sidings in Keonjhar to eke out a living.

After her father’s demise two years ago, she has taken the mantle as the breadwinner in the family of eight. She toils hard to earn up to Rs 2000 a month which is not enough to sustain the family.

Amidst all hardships, Pinky found a way to carry forward her passion for cricket. She started training under coach Amarendra Mohanty in 2012. In 2015, she got a chance to play in the under-19 women’s cricket team of Jharkhand. With consistent performance as a batter, she was picked for the U-23 team in 2017.

“I have to work on railway sidings to support the family. But, I want to play…. If the government or other support comes in, it would be of immense help to the family. Besides, it would help me focus on the game,” expressed Pinky.

Including inter-district and state-level tournaments, the budding woman cricketer has played around 25 matches, by far.

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