As the world marked International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to honoring the myriad contributions of women across all spheres of life, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar took to social media to share an anecdote from the annals of Indian cricket and praise a groundbreaking figure in the sport. Tendulkar, who became synonymous with the game for his unparalleled skill, celebrated the story of Jacintha Kalyan, India’s first female pitch curator.

On a day highlighting the progress and victories of women, Tendulkar recounted a memory from India’s win against England back in 2008, a testament to the spirit of overcoming challenges and succeeding against odds. His post not only served as a nostalgia trip for countless cricket fans but also as a source of inspiration, showing how individuals, irrespective of gender, can make a mark in their chosen fields.

The main focus of Tendulkar’s praise was Jacintha Kalyan, who has been associated with the Karnataka State Cricket Association for over three decades. Her commitment and expertise culminated in her becoming the first woman in India to take on the role of a pitch curator. Kalyan’s historic career landmark was crafting the pitches in Bengaluru during the first leg of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024.

Tendulkar, in his statement, stressed the importance of recognizing, encouraging, and applauding role models who shatter glass ceilings and pave the way for others in diverse fields. His acknowledgment of Kalyan’s contribution underscored how women are not just participating but excelling and leading in areas that have been traditionally male-dominated.

Kalyan’s journey and subsequent success exemplify that with passion, dedication, and perseverance, barriers can be broken. The cricket field, once a bastion of male prevalence, is now being shaped, quite literally, by a woman’s hands in India, as Kalyan tends to the pitches — the very foundation of the sport.

By spotlighting Jacintha Kalyan’s achievements, Sachin Tendulkar not only paid tribute to a pioneer but also helped boost the visibility of women’s growing involvement and leadership in cricket. His message echoes the ethos of International Women’s Day: celebrating progress, calling for change, and applauding the courage and determination of women who are contributing to a more gender-equal world.

Tendulkar’s words resonate beyond the cricket pitch, serving as an encouragement for young girls and women to dream big and chase their goals with undeterred ambition. As such figures emerge and are celebrated, they lay down inspirational tracks for future generations of women to follow, in sports and beyond.

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