Talking up victory at Lord’s with Joe and Sam

B. Monisha and V. Paulraj share their experience of playing at Home of Cricket

B. Monisha and V. Paulraj can hardly keep the excitement out of their voice while speaking about interacting virtually with Joe Root, captain of the England cricket team, and Sam Curran, who is one of the star players for Chennai Super Kings.

“When I told my friends and family about speaking to them, many didn’t believe me. It truly was an opportunity I will cherish,” says Monisha.

As part of an interaction organised by the British Deputy High Commission in Chennai recently, Monisha and Paulraj shared on video call with the cricketers their experience of being part of the winning team at the Street Child Cricket World Cup at Lord’s in 2019.

Joe Root, from his hotel quarantine in Chennai ahead of the Test series which begins on Friday, and Sam Curran, who was at his home in the U.K., asked the young cricketers how they felt after winning the Street Child World Cup. They also spoke about how much they loved visiting India.

“I didn’t even think I would be able to speak to State-level cricketers, but I was overjoyed at being able to interact with both. They spoke to us like we were friends and I loved chatting about the sport,” says Paulraj.

For Paulraj, playing cricket at Lord’s was a dream come true. “We didn’t just play, we were also the champions.”

Monisha’s and Paulraj’s interest in and passion for the sport was encouraged by Karunalaya, an NGO working with street and working children.

They were part of the India (South) Street Child Cricket Team, along with A. Nagalakshmi and K. Suryaprakash, also of Chennai. Paulraj was the captain. They continue to attend cricket coaching classes and hope to play in future too.

“Cricket is something that changed my life. As someone who lives on the street, it has taken me across the world and given me an experience that I will always cherish,” says Monisha.

In a press release issued through the British Deputy High Commission, Joe Root said the team was excited about the series.

“It should be really entertaining as India is coming off the back of a brilliant series win in Australia. We will make sure we are well-prepared as we can be when the first Test starts on Friday.”

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