Nagpur: Comebacks aren’t easy. They are even tougher after motherhood. It takes determination, dedication and commitment. Balancing personal life with the rigours of the professional grind is always an uphill task.
Vidarbha wicketkeeper Shweta Naidu Kadam does not belong to the inspiring list of Mary Kom, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Sania Mirza, but she has certainly followed in their footsteps.
After making it to the Vidarbha team for the senior women’s one-day tournament, Shweta made history of sorts by becoming the first cricketer from the region to make a comeback after motherhood.
Former India opener and ex-Vidarbha captain Monica Sumra also played after motherhood but only featured in some departmental matches.
Shweta, who last played a List ‘A’ match in 2016, is one the three wicketkeepers in the squad along with Raveena Singh and Vinaya Mate. “Hats off to her and also to her family, especially her husband Amit, for all the encouragement. A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes after motherhood. These days, women cricketers delay their marriage because of their careers. Players like Shweta can inspire not only young cricketers but also those who leave the game at the peak age of 28-32,” a former Vidarbha woman cricketer, who didn’t wish to be named, told TOI.
Shweta, a senior auditor with the Defence Accounts Department, married Amit Kadam in 2016. They had a son Rudransh in 2018. “She had started working on her fitness two years ago. His son was just one then. What I have heard is that she didn’t have any target in mind. She just started working hard without any expectations. It was only after she attained a certain level of fitness and felt confident about her abilities that Shweta approached the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA). They were happy to give her an opportunity to prove herself,” the player said.
Shweta made her first class debut for Vidarbha in 2007-08, just after the BCCI took women’s cricket under its wings. Those days it wasn’t easy for women cricketers. She has played 7 first class, 30 List ‘A’ and 16 T-20 matches for Vidarbha.
For VCA, it was all about performance. Shweta was told to maintain a certain standard of fitness and perform up to the expectations. “These stories are always inspirational but we only went by her performance and experience. She was part of the online training throughout last year. Once our players hit the ground, she joined them. She has always been a quality wicketkeeper. Her basics and ball sense are very good. She understands match situations very well. She will be a good asset for this young team. I hope she does well whenever she gets an opportunity,” a VCA source told TOI.