Following the recent Prime Minister’s Cup in Nepal we caught up with Jyoti Pandey, who was awarded “batter of the tournament” having scored 151 runs in her 5 games. She spoke to us about her background, aspirations for the future and her tactics when it comes for preparing for games.
She also discussed the funding structure within Nepal, where players are paid to play cricket.
How did you get into cricket?
My father is a cricket coach and he used to coach the Province One ladies team. I never used to play cricket and instead played badminton, but my brother and father loved cricket! Whenever I was at home I would see them screaming and shouting at the TV whilst watching cricket and I would wonder what they were doing. I started watching as well and after one month I was hooked! I loved the game and wanted to play as well, and my father helped coach me and get me to start playing. I was 18 at the time that I started.
What is the funding structure like in Nepal?
Every month we get paid a salary, that has been the case for over 10 years. Some of us are government staff at the Armed Police Force (APF) and we get paid for both the work that we do and for playing cricket. Everybody who is APF staff gets paid 28,000 Nepalese rupees per month as a government salary.
Recently the Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) has categorized the Nepalese women’s cricket team into three grades. Grade A gets 15,000, B gets 12,000 and C gets 10,000 per month. I am currently in grade B.
What are you currently doing besides cricket?
I am currently studying for my MBA at Phoenix College of Management. I did my undergraduate in Business. I am lucky in that I am getting paid to study and play cricket, so I am not working in any other field.
During lockdown I was not able to train, so I instead did drills with my bat and wicket keeping drills in my room. We are not currently in camp with the full Nepal team so I am currently training and playing with APF.
How was the tournament?
I was very nervous because I hadn’t played in one year! I had been out with an injury as I injured myself playing footsal. I am a wicket keeper/ opening batter and I have previously opened the batting for Nepal.
I felt really good after getting batter of the tournament and it helped me raise my confidence levels.
How do you deal with nerves and how do you prepare for going out to bat?
I call my Dad. He always tells me to just play my game. He helps a lot and I play better.
In terms of preparation I always visualize before I go out to play. As an opener you are facing the very first ball so visualization is very important. The night before a game I start visualizing reaching a half-century, and I visualizing myself playing my favourite shots. My favourite shots are to point, midwicket and the pull shot, I’m not much of a power hitter but I enjoy hitting in gaps.
What are your goals?
I want to play as many games as I can for the Nepalese team!
Do your parents support you playing cricket?
My parents will support me playing cricket provided that I continue studying. I find balancing cricket and my MBA really difficult because I am not great at studying, and I am currently living away from home.
What are your plans for after cricket?
I will be studying for the next two years. But after I complete my studies I will be a coach or an umpire, there are a lot of opportunities for women nowadays.