Priya Punia, a 22-year-old Delhi opener, will be a part of the Harmanpreet Kaur-led Indian side that will take on New Zealand in a T20I series in February.
She earned her maiden India call-up, for the three-match series in New Zealand after scoring two centuries in the senior women’s one-day league domestic tournament.
It will be the first milestone of Priya’s international career. But to get here, she had the support of her father, Surendra, who, according to The Times of India, sold his property to construct a cricket ground for her.
He took loans to buy a 1.5-bigha plot on the outskirts of Jaipur at Harmada for Rs 22 lakh in 2010. He’d thought of building a sports complex there but after finding his daughter’s passion for cricket, he set up the nets and laid a pitch.
“I approached a groundsman but he wanted Rs 1 lakh. So, I decided to make the pitch myself,” Surendra said.
Surendra, who, according to the report, had an ambition of playing for India, coaches and mentors his daughter.
Priya, who plays for Delhi, has been among the leading run-scorers in the last two seasons in the domestic circuit.
She expected a call-up in 2015 following a great domestic season that included knocks of 95 (for North Zone against the West) and a 42-ball 59 for India A against New Zealand.
“I was sure of getting selected then. I was disappointed, but I did not give up,” she told The Times of India. “I knew my time would come. I expected a place in the ODI squad, but I will take whatever opportunity had been handed to me. I expect to do well in the international arena.”