Girl With A Mission
While most girls her age spend countless hours fixing their hair, reading romance novels or trying to catch the attention of the cutest guys around, seventeen-year-old Indomatie Goordial spends her energy and time on working to realize her dream of playing cricket for the West Indies. She is a girl with a mission.
Indomatie, who hails from the village of Unity on the East Coast of Demerara is one of two Guyanese on the West Indies Women’s cricket team hoping to qualify for the 2005 women’s cricket World Cup to be staged in South Africa.
The right-handed batter and off-break bowler should leave Guyana on Wednesday (July 9) for a 10-day camp in Trinidad with the senior West Indies female team. The regional team then departs for Holland to participate in the qualifying stage of the Women’s cricket World Cup from July 24-27.
Growing up in Unity, a village that produced Test players Colin Croft and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, president of the Guyana Cricket Board Chetram Singh and President of Guyana Bharat Jagdeo, Indomatie has her sights set on being the next famous person from the small fishing village.
“I want to maintain my place on the West Indies team with consistent performances since the competition is very high for places on the team from girls around the Caribbean,” the confident and well spoken lass told Stabroek Sports in an exclusive interview on Saturday.
The slender teenager with an infectious smile and a great sense of humour is not the typical `country girl’ and feels that one of the reasons why more girls do not get involved in serious sport is because their parents do not allow their daughters to play a sport that requires them staying out late or being away from home.
“My wish for female cricket in Guyana is that more girls play the game and more sponsorship is given to competitions. Many people still think that cricket is a man’s game and are reluctant to sponsor female cricket. Parents should also encourage their daughters to follow their dreams and support them in whatever they choose to do, once it is something positive,” Indomatie opined.
Many females drop out of sports when they get married or start a serious relationship because the guy is uncomfortable or insecure when the spotlight is on his partner. Indomatie said she is not thinking about having a serious boyfriend at present since she is concentrating on her cricket and her studies.
With a cute blush which lit up her pretty face she added, “When I do decide to have a serious relationship the boy will have to understand that cricket is important to me and that I will not quit doing something I have worked hard for.”
When a slim little 12-year-old girl first started playing tape-ball and bumper ball cricket with the boys at the Bygeval Secondary School she had no idea that she would become the third person from her village to represent the West Indies in cricket.
The 2002 President’s XI Under-23 female team captain joined the Unity Sports Club in 1999 before making her national debut in 2001 in St Vincent when Guyana re-entered regional women’s cricket for the first time in 20 years.
A member of last year’s West Indies Under-23 team, she was also selected in the 24-person Windies senior squad but failed to make the final 14 as Candace Atkins became the first Guyanese to play for the West Indies Women’s cricket team.
The correct right-handed batter who began as a medium pacer but switched to off spin on the advice from some of the senior players on the other teams in the 2001 tournament in St. Vincent, now plays for city team Malteenoes after representing the East Coast Warriors in the last Women’s club competition in Guyana.
“I played for Eastern Warriors, an East Coast team which practiced in Buxton but moved to Malteenoes because of the better facilities and coaching there,” Indomatie explained.
Her favourite cricketer is Chanderpaul for his disciplined approach to batting but said that although she has lived all of her life in the same village with the Test player she has never been given any advice from the solid left-hander.
“Roger Harper had a session with us (Guyana Women’s team) during our encampment last year and visited us this year in Grenada while (Ramnaresh) Sarwan and (Colin) Stuart spoke with us a bit last year. Chanderpaul’s father has also offered advice on my batting,” the slender young lady with a pony tail which passes her waist stated.
She said the late Dolly Lokanan was her first coach while present national female coach Ava Baker, Raymond Daw, her Physical Education teacher at the Bygeval School, GCB President Chetram Singh, ex-president of the Guyana Women’s Cricket Association Emily Dodson and her parents have all helped and supported her.
Indomatie, whose highest score is 80 against Tucber Park in last year’s national female club final at the DCC ground revealed that she was not surprised to be selected in this year’s West Indies team.
“I was not too surprised because I knew that it was because of my finger injury last year that I was not included in the team to play Sri Lanka."
Indomatie’s most memorable match is the game against St Vincent last year when she made her highest regional score (44) while her best bowling performance is 3-8 from eight overs against Jamaica this year.
The teen who says she loves making friends, travelling and reading, plays with the boy’s team in Unity at the Under-15 and Under-17 levels and her ambition is to coach girls at the school level after her playing days are over.
Indomatie’s life is not all cricket and she has been transformed into a confident, beautiful, intelligent and talented young lady over the past four years.
“Touring, meeting different people and successfully completing my CXC exams have made me a lot more confident and self assured from the days when I first started playing and was a very shy person. Sports can improve one’s life in so many ways and that is why I would encourage girls to get involved in sports in Guyana,” the Hindu girl, who describes herself as friendly and fairly religious, said.
Born to Bissoondai and Roopram Goordial on August 9th 1985, Indomatie is the eldest of three children and although her two brothers are aged 14 and 11, she is the only member of her family interested in sports.
“My family is not too big on sports but my parents fully support me with my cricket and I love them dearly,” the Leo born girl who attended the Gibson Primary school declared.
Unlike some cricketers from the rural areas, Indomatie knows the value of a sound education and with eight CXC subjects to her name and the honour of being the top CXC student in Region Five last year, she is blessed with beauty, brains and lots of cricket talent. She urges young people to stay in school and get an education which she feels is the most important possession someone can acquire.
“Education is very important for sports persons, especially girls who don’t get paid to play cricket. I was not paid when I played for the West Indies Under-23 team and unlike the males, girls don’t get paid when they play for Guyana. So education is vital if you want to survive.
I don’t believe you should sacrifice sport for education or the other way around. Enjoy your life and fulfill your dreams, but you must realize that you have got to work much harder than other people if you want to be successful in both sports and academics.
The two can go together but you have to study in the nights and budget your time, and of course, give up a part of your social life - since you will have a lot less free time, especially when exams are approaching,” Indomatie pointed out.
She said that it was very challenging playing cricket and preparing for CXC exams last year but she knew what she wanted and worked hard for it.
“Sometimes you have to miss classes to play games, like in 2001, when I had to go to St Vincent during the school period,” stated Indomatie, who disclosed that she will be attending the Cyril Potter College from September.
She says maths is her favourite subject while her favourite shot is the straight drive. Although she wants to become a fully qualified math teacher, she has her heart set on doing well for the West Indies and helping the regional women team to win the World Cup next year in South Africa.
Indomatie thanked all those who helped her in any way and commended the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) for providing her with sponsorship from time to time.
Indomatie Goordial knows what she wants and is working hard to make all of her dreams come true.