Below, USA under-19 all-rounder Laasya Mullapudi responded to a few questions we asked her to answer about herself and the upcoming ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.
Where and how did you get involved with cricket? Please tell us a bit about yourself. (Such as where you were born and where in the USA you currently reside).
I got involved in cricket by watching my brother play and attending his practice sessions and games. I began playing cricket for the California Cricket Academy (CCA) and currently play them. I started playing when I was 12 years old.
How important is the upcoming tournament (ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup) to you?
This tournament is significant for the USA and the development of the sport in this country. It will be the biggest one in which I would have played cricket and the first ICC Under-19 tournament that the USA women’s Under-19 cricket team will be playing. I am excited to represent the USA in such a big tournament and play in South Africa for the first time against many international teams.
What do you feel needs to be done to attract more female cricketers in the USA?
Cricket should be incorporated in schools starting from a younger age and offered as a sport in colleges. Spreading cricket throughout the school system will automatically help attract female cricketers in the USA.
What are your plans for a possible professional cricket career?
My plan for a possible professional cricket career is to play in bigger leagues, such as WIPL and BBL, as well as The Hundred.
Who are some of the people you’ve enjoyed speaking to and learning the game from so far?
My father is one of the most influential people I enjoy speaking to and learning the game. He has been by my side throughout my career and knows my playing style and mentality the best.
What milestones do you want to achieve in cricket?
Regarding milestones, I want to score a century in a T20. Another achievement would be to score a half-century in under twelve overs.
How do you spend your time away from cricket?
During my time away from cricket, I represent my school in badminton and run in my free time. I am still a student and attend school and participate in school activities.
If you weren’t playing cricket, what other sport would you have been playing?
If I were not playing cricket, I would continue playing badminton.
Is there any other domestic or international player that you model your game after?
I have attempted to model my innings based on India’s female national cricketer, Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana’s innings.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Dedicated, ambitious, and joyful.