Rajeshwari Gayakwad

Rajeshwari Gayakwad

Player Bio

Rajeshwari Shivanand Gayakwad, born on 1 June 1991 in Bijapur, Karnataka, is a prominent figure in the world of women's cricket. Standing at a height of 163 cm, she bats right-handed and is renowned for her slow left-arm orthodox bowling. Rajeshwari has been a stalwart for the Indian women's cricket team since her debut and has represented the nation in various formats, including Tests, One Day Internationals (ODIs), and T20 Internationals (T20Is). Her journey in international cricket began in 2014, and she has since become an integral part of the team, delivering numerous memorable performances.

Early Life and Entry into Cricket

Rajeshwari's tryst with cricket began relatively late. She started playing serious cricket around the age of 18. Her father, who she cites as her biggest inspiration, introduced her to the sport and ensured she received formal coaching. Her dedication and talent soon saw her representing the Karnataka women's cricket team.

Her international debut came in 2014, in a One Day International against Sri Lanka. This debut was a bittersweet moment for Rajeshwari. While it marked the beginning of her international career, it also came at a time of personal loss. She lost her father to a cardiac arrest right after her debut series against Sri Lanka. Despite the emotional turmoil, Rajeshwari's commitment to the sport remained unwavering.

Her journey in domestic cricket saw her playing for teams like Karnataka Women, Railways, Supernovas, Trailblazers, and UP Warriorz. With each game, she honed her skills, making her an indispensable asset to any team she played for.

Rajeshwari's early years in cricket were marked by determination, resilience, and an undying passion for the game. From her humble beginnings in Bijapur to representing India on the global stage, her journey is a testament to her talent and dedication.

Career Highlights and Major Achievements

Rajeshwari Gayakwad's cricketing journey has been nothing short of spectacular. Since her debut in 2014, she has consistently showcased her prowess, both with the ball and occasionally with the bat, making significant contributions to the Indian women's cricket team.

World Cup Performances: One of the standout moments in Rajeshwari's career was during the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup. India reached the final of the tournament, and although they lost to England by a narrow margin of nine runs, Rajeshwari's contributions throughout the tournament were noteworthy. In the same World Cup, she recorded the best bowling figures for an Indian in Women's Cricket World Cup history, with a staggering 5/15.

Commonwealth Games 2022: Rajeshwari was a part of the Indian women's cricket team that clinched the silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham. Her performances were instrumental in helping the team reach the finals.

Asia Cup 2022: Another feather in Rajeshwari's cap was when she was a part of the Indian team that won the 2022 Women's Asia Cup, marking India's 7th title in the tournament.

T20 World Cup 2020: Rajeshwari was named in India's squad for the Women's T20 World Cup held in Australia in 2020. The Indian team reached the finals, showcasing some brilliant cricket throughout the tournament.

Statistical Overview of Gayakwad's Career

Rajeshwari Gayakwad's statistics speak volumes about her consistency and the impact she has had on matches.

Tests: In the longer format of the game, Rajeshwari has played 4 matches, bowling 474 balls and taking 5 wickets. Her best bowling figures in an innings stand at 4/54.

ODIs: Rajeshwari has been particularly effective in One Day Internationals. In 64 matches, she has bowled 3399 balls, taking 99 wickets. Her economy rate is an impressive 3.63, with an average of 20.79. Her best figures in this format are the aforementioned 5/15.

T20Is: In the shortest format, Rajeshwari has played 55 matches, delivering 1097 balls and claiming 58 wickets. Her best figures in T20Is are 3/9, with an economy rate of 6.22.

Memorable Moments and Noteworthy Facts

Debut Series: Rajeshwari's entry into international cricket was marked by her debut series against Sri Lanka in 2014. This series was a turning point in her life, both professionally and personally, as she lost her father right after the series.

Refusal of a Car Gift: After the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup Final, the Water resources minister M. B. Patil offered Rajeshwari a car worth Rs 5 lakh. However, showcasing her humility and priorities, she declined the gift, stating that her primary concern at that time was to secure a house for her family. This incident highlighted her grounded nature and the challenges she faced, being the sole breadwinner for her family after her father's demise.

Bowling Prowess: Rajeshwari's bowling has been a highlight of her career. She has achieved the record for the most wickets in a series (25) in Women's One-Day Internationals. Additionally, she holds the record for the most four-wickets-in-an-innings in a career (6) and the most wickets taken hit wicket in Women's Twenty20 Internationals.

Consistent Performer: Rajeshwari's consistency can be gauged from her inclusion in various important tournaments. She was a part of the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020 and was named in India's team for the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. In July 2022, she was also selected for the cricket tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad's journey in international cricket is a testament to her talent, dedication, and resilience. From her debut in 2014 to her consistent performances in major tournaments, she has solidified her place as one of the stalwarts of Indian women's cricket.

Legacy and Impact on Indian Women's Cricket

Rajeshwari Gayakwad's journey in the world of cricket is not just about her individual achievements but also about the indelible mark she has left on Indian women's cricket. Her legacy is multifaceted, and her impact is profound.

Trailblazer for Future Generations: Rajeshwari's story is one of determination and resilience. From her humble beginnings in Bijapur to the grand stages of international cricket, she has shown that with passion and hard work, anything is achievable. Her journey serves as an inspiration for countless young girls across the country who aspire to make a mark in the sport.

Consistent Performer: Throughout her career, Rajeshwari has been a pillar of consistency for the Indian women's cricket team. Whether it's her record-breaking bowling figures or her crucial contributions in pivotal matches, she has always stepped up when the team needed her the most. This consistency has not only earned her accolades but has also cemented her place as one of the most reliable players in the team.

Ambassador for Women's Cricket: Rajeshwari's success on the field and her conduct off it has made her an ambassador for women's cricket in India. She has played a pivotal role in popularising the sport and drawing attention to women's cricket, which for the longest time remained in the shadows of the men's game.

Rajeshwari Gayakwad's illustrious career is a testament to her talent, dedication, and love for the game. As she continues to represent India on the international stage, there's no doubt that she has many more records to set and accolades to achieve. Her journey so far has been nothing short of inspirational, and the future holds even more promise.

While she has already achieved so much, Rajeshwari's hunger for success remains undiminished. With the kind of form and determination she has shown, it's evident that she will continue to be a force to reckon with in the coming years. As she moves forward, the cricketing world eagerly awaits to see what new heights she will scale and what new records she will set.

When did Rajeshwari Gayakwad make her international debut?
Rajeshwari made her international debut in a One Day International against Sri Lanka on 19 January 2014.
What are her best bowling figures in ODIs?
Her best bowling figures in ODIs are 5/15.
Which teams has Rajeshwari represented in domestic cricket?
In domestic cricket, she has played for teams like Karnataka Women, Railways, Supernovas, Trailblazers, and UP Warriorz.
Was Rajeshwari a part of the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup team?
Yes, Rajeshwari was a crucial member of the Indian team that reached the final of the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup.