Nisha Ali Image Credit: Organiser

Dubai: Nisha Ali, who won the Player of the Tournament award in the Dubai Cricket Council’s (DCC) women’s cricket league last weekend, dons many hats. She is a teacher, coach and a cricketer but whichever role she enacts, Nisha gives her best and has made a huge impact.

A physical education teacher of the JSS International School, Nisha teaches cricket and also coaches at the Springs Cricket Academy. Her skills as a right-handed batswoman and off spinner won her a place in the UAE women’s team too.

In the DCC tournament, she finished on the losing side for G Force Cricket Academy team in the final, Nisha hogged the limelight through her allround performance — bagging three wickets and scoring 29 runs. She scored 111 runs from three matches and bagged five wickets in the tournament. This was Nisha’s second DCC tournament and in the first edition as well, she had bagged the Best Batswoman award.

Speaking to Gulf News, Nisha revealed how she fell in love with the game. “I am from Madhya Pradesh where very few women played cricket. My brothers played cricket so I too followed them to the ground and played with them. My father, though a hockey player, encouraged my passion for cricket and that is how it all began.

“I went to Delhi to study for my Masters in Physical Education. I carried my love for cricket all along and played first class cricket for Delhi. I even got picked by Air India to play for them,” she recalled.

Nisha played University cricket and even represented Central and North Zone at the junior and senior level. Her highest score was an unbeaten 144 against Kolkata University.

It’s been three years since Nisha arrived in Dubai and finds the place ideal to pursue her dreams. “The support that the JSS school management and principal has given me since joining has helped me a lot. I am able to focus on my cricket as they provided me leave to represent UAE, play tournaments and coach the children teaching them cricket,” added Nisha, who has also qualified as an International Cricket Council (ICC) Level one coach.

Harping on the need for fitness — both for herself and the wards, Nisha said: “As a coach and teacher, I am on my toes all the time. It has helped me be fit as a player too. I go to the gym and do lot of physical training as I believe that one should be physically fit to give the best and mentally strong to be successful in any sport.”

Asked about her ultimate goal, she was ready with the parting shot: “It will be great if I can contribute to ensure UAE qualify for the World Cup. It will be a dream to play in a World Cup.”