It is almost 10 PM in India, and the country is slowly winding down to call it a night after all the hustle and bustle through the day.
However, in the city of Mohali and away from the glaring eyes of the media, a tiny house is bursting with pride and excitement as their daughter, Amanjot Kaur, has been handed her debut cap in international cricket ahead of the first game against South Africa.
Tears rolling down a proud father's face and a sense of satisfaction seeing his daughter don the national colours, ah, if only words could do justice to the emotions.
And before we get into an overdrive of emotions, let us first understand that she was not even in contention to feature in the series despite her consistent performances on the domestic circuit.
When the Indian team management and the selectors announced the squad for the Women's tri-series involving South Africa, West Indies and the Women in Blue, along with the 15-member team for the upcoming T20 World Cup, most people expected the players in the contention to play the mega event feature in the team in order to gain plenty of exposure and get acclimated to the conditions.
However, in a rather strange and unusual manner, the Women in Blue were forced to field a playing XI filled with plenty of surprises due to the unavailability of certain players ahead of the clash at Buffalo Park.
Despite not being the first-choice pick for the opening game, illness to Harmanpreet Kaur, along with some of the key players in Renuka Singh and Shikha Pandey, forced the Women in Blue to pretty-much field the team available at their disposal.
And there opened up an opportunity for Amanjot Kaur to not only live her dream but also fulfil her father's long-standing wish of seeing his daughter play for the national side.
With the Indian side being asked to bat first, the top order crumbled on the sluggish surface on offer, and before Amanjot could gather her emotions and cherish the moment, she was out there at 69 for five inside 12 overs to battle it out for her nation.
A couple of solid defences and some first push down the ground, the 23-year-old was away at the international level. Along with Deepti Sharma, she steadied the wobbly Indian innings with ones and twos before launching an attack on the opposition bowling unit.
In the next 40 minutes that followed, the duo showcased exemplary skills to not only weather the storm but also guide India out of a challenging situation and forged a match-defining 76-run stand for the sixth wicket.
Years of gruelling sessions under the scorching heat and hours of blood and sweat, along with her father, who is a carpenter by profession, was finally reaping massive dividends as she displayed an array of strokes all around the ground en route to her unbeaten 41 off 30 deliveries studded with seven boundaries.
The right-handed batter not only helped India post 147 runs in their quota of 20 overs but also showcased her grit and determination to absorb the pressure and lead India out of a middle-order muddle.
While this is the first time she has done it for the national side, this ain't something new for the youngster coming through the ranks of domestic cricket.
After plying her trade for Punjab in age-group cricket, Amanjot moved her base to Chandigarh and was assigned as the leader of a young side. With hope in her eyes and a solitary dream of winning games for her domestic team, she toiled hard by single-handedly shouldering the responsibility of the team with her all-around abilities.
Her consistent performances started making the noises for all the right reasons, and she was soon selected to play for the zones before graduating to the Challenger trophy.
While these moments may still seem like a dream to Amanjot and her family but as India spun the web around the Proteas batting unit and recorded a comprehensive win in the second innings, a young family rejoiced and slept well after living a lifelong dream.
(Cover image credit - Female Cricket twitter)
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