Manorama Sports Star 2023: Minnu Mani living the dream

Minnu Mani
Minnu became the first woman cricketer from Kerala to play for the Indian senior team. File photo: Instagram@minnu_mani

The year 2023 was a glorious year for cricketer Minnu Mani. Minnu, one of the six nominees for the Manorama Sports Star Award 2023, etched her name in history books by becoming the first woman cricketer from Kerala to play for the Indian senior team.

An inspiring tale 

The 24-year-old Minnu, who started playing cricket alongside boys in the paddy fields in her village near Mananthavady in Wayanad, had to face a lot of roadblocks in her journey to get herself into the top echelons of Indian cricket. While playing cricket with the boys in her locality, she would never have known that she would be playing for the senior Indian team one day.

While she was a child, her parents and neighbours never encouraged her to play cricket as their perception of cricket was that it was a man's sport. However, once Minnu showed glimpses of her innate talent in age-group cricket, they started supporting her, realising that she is destined for greater heights. 

Minnu has been a member of Kerala's women cricket teams in various age groups for the last 11 years. She has also captained different age-group teams. Minnu made her debut in a Twenty20 International (T20I) against Bangladesh at Mirpur in July, 2023.

Minnu was hit for a six and a four off the second and third balls of her debut match against Bangladesh. Unperturbed, she thought on her feet and picked up a wicket with the next delivery. 

A member of the Indian team which won gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year, Minnu also captained the India 'A' side in a T20 bilateral series against England 'A' in November. Subsequently, she once again earned a spot in the senior women's team in a T20I series against England in December.

A cricketer of many 'firsts'

The year 2023 saw Minnu emerging as a path-breaker in Kerala cricket. She has achieved many firsts that will remain unbreakable. Apart from becoming the first Keralite player to be picked up in the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL) auction, she is also the first Kerala cricketer to break into the Indian women's senior side, first Malayali woman to captain the India 'A' team, and the first Keralite to win a cricket gold at the Asian Games. 

Minnu, who has represented Delhi Capitals in the WPL for the second consecutive year, is currently one of the top all-rounders in domestic cricket.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.