Jacintha Kalyan: Pioneering India’s Cricket Pitch Curatorship

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Jacintha Kalyan
Image courtesy: star of Mysore

Breaking Barriers in Cricket

Jacintha Kalyan, a name resonating across India’s sports landscape, has etched her place in history as the nation’s first female cricket pitch curator. Despite not donning the cricket whites herself, Kalyan is reshaping the game from behind the scenes, particularly at Bengaluru’s prestigious M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where she orchestrates pitch preparations for the Women’s Premier League 2024 (WPL 2024).

A Journey of Dedication

Hailing from Harobele, a village nestled 80 kilometers from Bengaluru, the 49-year-old Kalyan embarked on her journey nearly three decades ago. Starting as a receptionist with the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA), she gradually climbed the ranks, delving into administrative responsibilities and managing accounts before venturing into the realm of pitch curatorship.

Learning and Growth

Kalyan’s transition from a receptionist to a trailblazing pitch curator was fueled by her thirst for knowledge and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Guided by seasoned mentors such as PS Vishwanath and K Sriram, she immersed herself in understanding the intricate nuances of pitch maintenance, drawing parallels between her agricultural roots and the science of curating cricket pitches.

Mastery Through Experience

The journey wasn’t without its challenges. Yet, Kalyan’s dedication and perseverance shone through. Embracing a hands-on approach, she honed her skills on the job, mastering the art of pitch preparation and maintenance. Her expertise was further validated when she successfully cleared the curator exam in 2018, marking a significant milestone in her career.

From Ranji Trophy to WPL 2024

Kalyan’s ascent in the cricketing echelons continued as she assumed the role of a neutral curator for the prestigious Ranji Trophy during the 2023-24 domestic season. Her commendable stewardship of pitches in Pondicherry, Goa, and Kerala earned her widespread acclaim, paving the way for her pivotal role in the ongoing WPL 2024.

A Symbol of Inspiration

As Jacintha Kalyan meticulously crafts pitches at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium for WPL 2024, she symbolizes resilience, determination, and the unwavering spirit of breaking gender barriers in sports. Her journey from a humble village to the forefront of cricket curatorship serves as an inspiration, not just for aspiring women in sports but for all who dare to dream and defy conventions.

Re-reported from the article originally published in The shethepeople

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