Every success has a story to tell! The famous saying goes hand-in-hand with most of the athletes. Many past and current sports stars come from very humble origins from where they have found a place in the sun despite all odds being stacked against them.
One such shining star is former Australian cricketer Lisa Sthalekar. She was recently inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. But that is her achievement; her journey was more interesting or rather eye opening.
It was the year 1978 and Sthalekar was just three weeks old when her foster parents adopted her from an orphanage in Pune. Yes, you read it right. She is an Indian by birth. In fact her real name was Laila. Her biological parents could not support her so they left her at the orphanage.
A couple from the USA were visiting to adopt a son, but their stars were aligned with the little girl. They took one look at Sthalekar and soon the formalities were completed to take her back with them to the States.
After four years of living in the US and Kenya, the family settled in Australia, where Sthalekar set out on the path to becoming one of the world’s most formidable female cricketers.
She shone as an all-rounder and between 2001 and 2013, representing Australia in 187 games across formats. With nearly 4000 runs and over 200 wickets, Lisa was the star of the show.
Lisa credits her father for introducing her to the game. “My father loved the game and I spent a fair bit of them with him in the backyard. I would’ve been about 8-9 when I fell in love with the game,” she was quoted as saying by ‘The Print’.
The Guardian reported that in 2012, Lisa visited the orphanage in Pune where her life began and realised how dramatically her adoptive parents’ choice had changed the course of her life.
In her book ‘Shaker’ which traces her journey, she had written quite openly about a lot of things, including depression. “It is hard sharing extremely personal parts of your life. Though I guess if others were to read and felt something similar at least they would know they aren’t alone. Also, some of the lessons I learnt might be useful to those going through something similar,” she added.