It was a red-letter day for Vrinda Dinesh having hit the WPL pay-dirt with a whopping Rs 1.30 crore deal but still the 22-year-old couldn't muster enough courage to call her mother as she would be overwhelmed and emotional in equal measure.
Vrinda on Saturday became the second-highest paid uncapped Indian player at the Women's Premier League auction after Kashvee Gautam, who went to Gujarat Giants for Rs 2 crore.
Vrinda's love for her parents is such that after UP Warriorz bought the Karnataka batter, she did not make a video call from Raipur to her mother in Bengaluru, knowing that she wouldn't be able to control her emotions.
"I think she (mother) was in tears. I did not video call her because I knew I would see those tears. I just called her and it was a very faint voice," Vrinda said on Saturday during an interaction organised by UP Warriorz.
Parents make a lot of sacrifices for their off-springs without any expectations but a worthy child knows the value of bringing a 1000-watt smile in their faces. Asked what would he do with the purse, Vrinda had her plans in place.
"I just knew that, you know, they were really overwhelmed. They were very happy for me. And, you know, I just want to make them proud said. I will give my parents the car they have always dreamed of. That is my first goal right now and I will see whatever later on," added Vrinda, who is currently in Raipur preparing for the Women's Under-23 T20 Trophy.
No Pressure of price-tag
Easier said than done, often a huge price-tag creates a lot of pressure on players and becomes an impediment towards performance.
"This price tag, it is not something in my hands. I have just been picked and I just want to give it my best. I do not think this price tag is going to make much of a difference because at the end of the day, I am just here to play and enjoy the sport," said Vrinda.
The right-hand batter said that one of her wishes is to open the innings alongside captain Alyssa Healy.
"To be able to play under Alyssa Healy's captaincy, having Tahlia McGrath, having Dani Wyatt, having Sophie Ecclestone... some of the greats of women's cricket. It's going to be surreal because I've always thought of it, but, you know, I've never imagined it happening to me," she said.
Vrinda said that she has always admired Alyssa, the Australian wicketkeeper-batter known for her tactical acumen and leadership skills.
"Alyssa is someone I have always looked up to. I like the way she bats and it's something I probably try doing here," Vrinda said.
“To see to be able to open the batting with Alyssa. She is very destructive and because she's someone I want to be. I mean, it is going to be like a dream come true," Vrinda said.
The cricketer admitted that her secret wish was to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore, as she hails from the city, but was nevertheless happy to have been picked up by the Warriorz.
"Because I am a local and I am from Bangalore, I have always liked RCB, but I was ready for anything that came my way. I just want to give my best to whichever team I am picked for. And now it is UP Warriorz, so I am really looking forward to giving my everything and make sure we win the WPL," she said.
Attending trials of all WPL teams
Vrinda, who recently played for India Women's A against England A, said she had auditioned for each of the five WPL sides before being picked by UP Warriorz.
"Last year, yes, I did attend all five trials. I enjoyed UP the most. We had a lot of match simulations, open nets. We also played a match where, you know, prior to the match or any simulation, they came and spoke to me," she said.
"They asked me to be very free and just play the game that I have always been playing. Also on the last day, where they had a skill session for the batters, the UP Warriors players had to stay back for that session.
"They also asked me to attend the session and they also taught me a lot of skills that I could develop. That's something I used during the season this year," she said.
Looking back at her journey, Vrinda said missing a string of games for Karnataka and then scoring consecutive centuries in senior women's competition in 2020 was the turning point in her career.
"I started cricket at the age of 13. Prior to that, I was playing a lot of gully cricket with the boys," she said.
"One day, my father put me into a summer camp saying, 'let us try, let us see how it goes'. I just enjoyed the sport ever since.
"I made my senior team debut in December 2018, where I played two games and then I sat out for a long time. I probably sat out 22 matches," she added.