Jemimah Jessica Rodrigues, born on September 5, 2000, has emerged as a dynamic talent in Indian sports. She is a versatile athlete, representing the Indian national women’s cricket team, the Mumbai women’s cricket team, and even the Under-17 Maharashtra hockey team.
Early Beginnings and Family Support
Jemimah’s journey began in Bhandup, Mumbai, where she was raised alongside her two brothers, Enoch and Eli. Hailing from a Christian family, her parents instilled in her a strong sense of discipline and dedication. At just four years old, she took her first steps onto the cricket field, starting a lifelong love affair with the sport.
To provide her with better sports facilities, the Rodrigues family moved to Bandra West in Mumbai. Her father, Ivan Rodrigues, played a pivotal role in her cricketing journey, as he was her junior coach at school. He even initiated the formation of the girls’ cricket team at her school. Jemimah’s initial exposure to sports included both cricket and hockey, allowing her to explore her diverse talents.
Jemimah attended St. Joseph’s Convent High School in Mumbai and later pursued her education at Rizvi College of Arts, Science & Commerce.
Early Success and Family Influence
Jemimah Rodrigues was a multi-talented athlete from the start. She not only excelled in cricket but also made her mark in hockey. Her cricketing journey took off when she made her under-19 debut at the tender age of 12-and-a-half during the 2012-13 cricket season. Her exceptional talent earned her a spot on the under-19 state cricket team at the age of 13.
Rodrigues attributes much of her success to her father, who served as her primary coach and remains her hero. One of her most significant accomplishments was becoming the second woman, following Smriti Mandhana, to score a double century in a 50-over cricket match. In November 2017, she achieved this feat by scoring an incredible 202* off just 163 balls against the Saurashtra team, a performance that included 21 boundaries. Shortly before this match, she had also scored 178 runs off 142 balls against the Gujarat team in an under-19 tournament.
Jemimah’s extraordinary talent did not go unnoticed by the national selectors. She was named in the Indian squad for the three-match ODI series against South Africa, which took place in February 2018. This marked the beginning of her international career.
She made her Women’s Twenty20 International cricket (WT20I) debut for India Women against South Africa Women on February 13, 2018. Her Women’s One Day International cricket (WODI) debut followed on March 12, 2018, against Australia Women.
In October 2018, she received a significant opportunity when she was named in India’s squad for the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies. She was labeled as the player to watch, and her performances earned her recognition as the standout player in the team by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the tournament’s conclusion.
Off the Field and Commercial Success
Jemimah Rodrigues’ remarkable achievements have not only made her a sporting sensation but also a sought-after athlete in the commercial world. Recognizing her marketability, a sports marketing firm, Baseline Ventures, signed her in October 2018 to manage all her commercial interests.
Her presence in the Indian cricketing landscape was further cemented when she attended the launch ceremony of the Indian cricket team’s new jersey for the ICC 2019 World Cup, alongside cricketing legends like Harmanpreet Kaur, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, and Prithvi Shaw.
Continued Success and Global Ventures
Jemimah Rodrigues continued to make her presence felt in international cricket. She was named in India’s squad for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, solidifying her position as a key player in the team.
In May 2021, she was named in India’s Test squad for a one-off match against the England women’s cricket team, showcasing her adaptability across formats.
Beyond the shores of India, Jemimah made waves when she played for the Melbourne Renegades in the 2021 Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). Her global cricketing journey continued when she was retained by the Northern Superchargers for the 2022 edition of The Hundred.
A Silver Lining at the Commonwealth Games
In August 2022, Jemimah Rodrigues reached a new pinnacle in her career when she won a silver medal with the Indian women’s cricket team at the inaugural women’s cricket tournament at the Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, England.
The Women’s Premier League 2023 Debut
In the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in 2023, Jemimah Rodrigues was signed by the Delhi Capitals for a substantial sum of Rs 2.20 Crore. She made a memorable debut in her first WPL match, scoring 22 runs off just 15 balls against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Jemimah Rodrigues’ journey from the streets of Mumbai to international cricket and global leagues is nothing short of inspiring. Her incredible talent, unwavering determination, and ability to excel in multiple sports have established her as one of India’s brightest stars in women’s cricket. As she continues to make strides in the world of cricket, fans can only anticipate more remarkable achievements from this young and gifted athlete.