By Roshni Chasmawala
The most often question I usually get is “Why are you into cricket?” I cannot even count the number of times people have asked me this. I'm not sure if it is because I'm a girl, or because I was born and raised in the United States, but everyone is always so SHOCKED whenever they see my passion for cricket.
Ever since I was little, Bollywood movies have been the life of me. I am fairly sure that Bollywood movies drove some of the fascination I have towards cricket. The beginning scene of Khabhi Khushi Khabhi Ghaam still gives me chills – when there was only 1 ball left with 5 runs remaining… and Hrithik Roshan (aka Rohan) hit a six! That is where the filmy part in “ThatFilmyCricketGirl” comes from. I give a lot of my cricket interest’s credit to Bollywood movies!
In America, we have gym class everyday up until 12th grade. When I was little, I would wonder why we never learned about cricket or played cricket during gym class. I have always been the type of person who was interested in something that was different, and cricket was nonexistent as an American sport.
I went to India for the first time when I was 8 years old. My god, the amount of street cricket I saw! This was the first time I saw people actually play cricket live. It was almost a love at first-sight-type of moment. I would yearn just to be able to watch street cricket. At that time, I was very unaware about international cricket. I came across names of players and got to know a little bit about actual cricketers, but I did not really start following any of it until 2011. It was mainly because I was unaware and had no idea where I would even follow matches.
Jumping a few years, 2015 was when cricket became one of the most precious parts of my life. One of my favorite events to watch is the ICC World Cup. For WC15, I watched every India match fully. I wouldn't even miss a split second of it. I remember I would literally have to google during the match to build my understanding of the sport, since I never had anyone really teach me everything about it. No one in my family or none of my friends really followed cricket.
Now, that I am older and can make my own decisions, my connection and work with cricket is at an entirely different level. In the past few years, I have become very involved with the different varieties of cricket in America. From being involved with different college cricket teams to helping out league teams. I try whatever I can do to help out the cricket community that reaches out to me. I also love making people in the community more aware about the sport by teaching them the basic rules and regulations of cricket. I am more aware of the variety of cricket leagues offered all over America.
I want to see cricket grow in America to a point where kids learn about it in gym class when they are in elementary school. I want cricket to go from being a club sport in colleges to becoming a sport that has junior varsity and varsity teams. I want to see cricket played on a platform like the NFL, NBA, or MLB. These are long term visions that I hope become a reality at one point.
My connection with Freebowler
In February, I signed up to go to Hotstar’s Cricfest. It was my first cricket festival-type of event. I thought it was really cool, especially how the event was set-up. My friends and I decided to line up for the batting cage. There were bowling machines set-up inside the cage. I got a chance to bat against it.
It was not until maybe around August-September when on my Instagram I saw the Freebowler Instagram account. I was looking through the pictures and videos on the account and was very fascinated by the product. As I was looking through the profile, I noticed a picture of me from the Cricfest account! I thought it was so funny to find myself on an account I never knew about, so I just messaged the account saying that picture was of me.
I have been very adamant about spreading cricket in the United States, and I thought Freebowler’s aim went along my goals as well. I personally love Freebowler’s innovative Superthrower. I can see the hard work the founders have put into it, and I would really want to see and help it grow.