By Pratik Sagar
New Delhi, May 12 (IANS): 'Without ambition, there is no use of hard work' - This is the philosophy that helps India cricketer Neha Tanwar still give her best in every training session that she participates in. The dream is to represent India once again in the international arena and make the country proud.
With sheer will and determination she reached the top and donned the national colours in 5 ODIs and 2 T20Is before personal reasons saw her make an exit. But the 33-year-old believes that the journey isn't over yet and is willing to do the hard yards in order to make a comeback into the national team which has some of the best girls in the country in the line-up.
"It's been a long, long journey and when I look back all I can see is struggle, hardwork, determination, dedication and never-ending training sessions," Tanwar, a Steadfast Nutrition athlete, told IANS.
"I started out on my journey at a young age and I remember not having my personal car. I had to travel in a bus or train most of the time and carrying the kit bag everywhere along with my personal stuff was a struggle.
"Living on my own in a new city was again not easy. I had to do all the household work, my regular training, and a job. I lived in a big joint family and living away from them was also an emotional challenge."
Tanwar, a regular in Delhi first-class circuit, had to step away from the game she loved for personal reasons. For her, family took centrestage as she had to put her dreams of becoming an India regular on the backburner.
"After getting married I took on the responsibility of a family, but still kept on doing my job and training. I had a son because of which I had to take a long break from cricket," Tanwar said.
"Getting back on the pitch after gaining lots of weight due to pregnancy was another challenge, not just physically, but also mentally. I have worked very hard in my life and I am proud of it.
"I had a lot of help from my family, without their support I would not have been where I am today. I know the journey has not been easy and it is definitely not over yet," she added.
Despite not playing for the national team for nine long years, Tanwar still hasn't given up hopes of one day returning to the international fold. The competition for places has grown exponentially in the team in recent times but Tanwar feels a chance will come knocking on her door and she just has to be ready whenever it does.
"We all work hard to achieve something in our lives. Without an ambition, there is no use of hard work. So yeah I have always had the ambition of playing for my country," Tanwar said.
"I still dedicate all of my hard work to that dream. I know it is not going to be easy but it never was even when I played for the first time for India.
"There is always going to be something or the other. There are lots and lots of good players in the country but I have been working hard and I am positive that I will play for India again hopefully very soon," she added
She also batted for women's Indian Premier League, which according to her can take the game to next level in the country. Considering the growing numbers of eyeballs in women's cricket recently, Tanwar feels it might be the right time to cash on it.
"Women's IPL can take the sport to next level in the country as well as on the international arena. I think it would be a testament to the growth of women's cricket in India," Tanwar said.
"Not only that, I think it would be a good opportunity for the players. I feel that the spectators are going to make it a huge success given the fact that women's cricket is given a good reception in our country now."