CROSSING BOUNDARIES AND BARRIERS : LISA STHALEKAR

Born in Pune, Maharashtra to unknown parents as Laila, their inability to support her prompted them to enrol her into an orphanage named Shreevatsa. Some time later, the Sthalekars, a bi-racial couple chose to adopt the baby girl, and named the child ‘Lisa’, the name synonymous with Australian cricket today.

Eventually settling down in Sydney, Lisa inherited a love for cricket from her father, who according to her, had cricket in his blood as an Indian. She began playing against boys, and didn’t know that women’s cricket existed until she watched a live test match with her father.

In the domestic circuit, Lisa made her debut for New South Wales at the age of 18, and was selected for Under-23 national squad later in the season. Subsequently she had better shows in the WNCL ( Women’s national cricket league ), and was then selected in the Under 21 Australian squad.

Owing to all these performances, Lisa finally scored an ODI debut in 2001, and her test debut in 2003, while remaining a constant for NSW in the WNCL. She was a part of the 2005 World Cup winning squad and also the leading wickettaker in the 2009 World Cup, with 13 wickets. In 2007 and 2008, she was named Australia’s women cricketer of the year. Additionally, she was the first women cricketer to achieve 100 wickets and 1000 runs in WODIs.

After her retirement in 2013, Lisa has carved a niche for herself in the male dominated field of commentating, and is a well known face in cricket broadcasting all around the globe.

With her scaling new heights in her career ever since her debut, Lisa has even written her autobiography, dealing with the problem of depression that she had to deal with following her mother’s death to breast cancer, amidst other things about her journey to becoming what she is today.

One of the founders of the Women’s International Cricket League, Lisa has always been a prominent figure, hard to miss on the field, whether it was her partaking in the match, or currently, as an active commentator and analyst, proving that the cricket field has forever been her home.

Her inspiring trajectory to becoming an Australian legend has had its own issues, but with a steely resolve and a smile radiating positivity almost always, Lisa is motivating new generations of cricketers every day.