Dabir returns, aims at comeback season
Jaipur, January, 29, 2011. Fielding at cover during a National Women's T20 match against Bengal, Soniya Dabir was about to experience one of fate's painful twists. Five days earlier, the Maharashtra off spinner had bowled an important spell in a Twenty20 international against West Indies, taking two for 10 in three overs to help India achieve a 15-run victory. Four ODIs and four T20s into her international career, Dabir's fortunes were on the rise.
But now, while attempting to field a ball hit in her direction, her studs caught in the turf, causing her knee to buckle. Dabir didn't bowl, but batted with a runner and scored 20 off 18 balls as Maharashtra lost a close match by seven runs. Scans on her knee revealed ligament damage.
"I had to operated it, and it took me around six to eight months to recover," Dabir recalls. "I did my rehabilitation at the NCA (National Cricket Academy, Bangalore), and I pretty much had to start from scratch. I was literally like a small kid learning to walk."
But the Puneite was back to full fitness very quickly. When Dabir returned to competitive cricket in November, during the National Women's One-Day tournament, it was as if she had never been away. In all, she took 13 wickets in the tournament at an average of 15.23, including a five-wicket haul against Uttar Pradesh. In the four inter-zonal one-dayers that followed, Dabir scalped eight wickets at 12.12, and followed that up with 13 wickets at 10.92, at an economy rate of 4.68 in the National Women's Twenty20 tournament.
The performance was enough to win Dabir a BCCI award, announced last week, for being Maharashtra's outstanding performer in the 2011-12 season. But despite this, she hasn't won a recall to the Indian team, which is at present preparing for the World T20 in Sri Lanka.
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