RS Gayakwad to KP Navgire, SIX: a full circle moment for Maharashtra batter

RS Gayakwad to KP Navgire, SIX! © BCCI/IPL

December 5, 2018

Andhra Cricket Association Ground, Guntur

What is going through your mind if you are an Indian domestic player making your debut against the mighty Indian Railways? What if every single bowler you are about to face has either played for India or is in line to make an international debut very soon? What if the bowler you are facing first up is one of India’s highly regarded spinners, who had registered India’s best bowling figures in the 2017 ODI World Cup? 

If you are Kiran Navgire, you hit that world-class bowler in Rajeshwari Gayakwad for a six. 

“Yaar, Mithali di toh India ki captain hai,” Navgire remembers thinking. “I was already intimidated by my teammates in the Maharashtra team like Anuja Patil and Tejal Hasabnis. Here I was facing the likes of Mithali di and Rajeshwari di. Seniors from my team told me to keep backing up my strengths. You will meet these legends after the match. For now, concentrate on your batting.”  

Kiran took that advice and ran with it. “When I got the opportunity to bat, all that nervousness went away. Rajeshwari di was bowling and I hit her for a six first ball which landed on the house outside the stadium. That was one amazing moment for me. I felt good that I hit the six off the first ball in my debut match.”

Not many watched her make her debut for Maharashtra.

Also Read: Kiran Navgire: From parched hinterland to a potential watershed moment

May 26, 2022

Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium Pune

What is going through your mind when you are batting on the biggest stage you have ever witnessed? What if the required rate is 10 runs per over when you face your first delivery? What if the bowler you are about to face had bamboozled the World Cup Champions just a month ago?  

If you are Kiran Navgire, you get down on one knee and slog-sweep Salma Khatun over deep midwicket for six. 

“What a way to start in Women’s T20 Challenge!,” an excited Natalie Germanos declared from the commentary box. “We have heard so much about her and now we get the chance to see it.” 

Now everyone was watching the girl from Solapur make it count at the MCA Stadium. 

24 balls into her innings for Velocity and Navgire faced Gayakwad one more time. This time Navgire again got on one knee and made a mockery of the long-on fielder with two back-to-back sixes. By the end of Gayakwad’s spell, she had conceded 44 runs and Navgire had registered the fastest half-century in the Women’s T20 Challenge off just 25 balls. 

“Watching Kiran hit sixes is not new for me,” former India international and Maharashtra player Soniya Dabir, who has seen Navgire for years, told Women’s CricZone. “It was really good to see her do that on the higher stage. I have to say, it was a mature innings from Kiran.” Dabir was present at the MCA Stadium on May 26 and you could sense the pride in her voice.

“We have seen Harmanpreet Kaur hit sixes and Smriti Mandhana doing that as well. But there is something about Kiran. The way she hits the sixes out of the ground with ease is really special. It’s good to see these players coming out and hitting more sixes as this will help the Women’s IPL to connect more with people.

“As we know, people who watch T20 Cricket love to see big sixes. This will help gather the crowd for these matches. There will be more fans coming and cheering Kiran as well, I hope,” Dabir said. 

1268 days after her debut for Maharashtra, a circle was complete for Kiran Navgire against one particular bowler.