Jasia Akhtar is an Indian cricketer who is known for being the first woman cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir selected by Delhi Capitals for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) to be held in 2023. She is a right-hand batsman and a right-arm medium bowler.
Jasia Akhtar was born Friday, 27 May 1988 (age 35 years; as of 2023) in Braripora, Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, India. Her zodiac sign is Gemini. She pursued a master’s degree at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Jaisa had an interest in cricket since she was a child. She played cricket with her cousin’s bat for the first time when she was eight years old. In an interview, one of her cousins recalled that Jasia used to play when all of them studied. She used to bunk classes and go to play because of which she was scolded a lot by her father. In an interview, she said that once she confronted her father, she told him about her passion for cricket. Her father made a handmade bat for her but never gave it to her because he feared that she would get hurt while playing. Jasia would take the bat from the place her father hid it and would hide it in her kurta and go to play with the boys in her village.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Jasia’s father’s name is Gul Mohammad Wani, who is a farmer.
Jasia Akhtar’s father
Her mother is a homemaker. She has five siblings, out of which she is the eldest. One of her brothers’ names is Suhail Ahmad.
Jaisa is a Kashmiri.
In 2005, she participated in the cricket U-19 girls tournament held in Bhopal and won the first gold medal for Jammu and Kashmir in cricket at the school national. In 2012, she represented Jammu and Kashmir in the All India North Zone and in 2013, she represented Punjab. In 2013, she went to Punjab due to a lack of facilities in Jammu and Kashmir. When she was in Punjab, she worked very hard and seeing this her coach, Ranjeet Singh told her to take admission to Guru Nanak Dev University so she could start playing inter-state tournaments. In 2013, she enrolled for her master’s degree at Guru Nanak Dev University and got a chance to play a district-level cricket event in which she smashed 206 runs and in the second match, she scored 65 runs. After her performance in the match, she was selected by the Punjab officials for the national camp and then for the state cricket team. As a part of the Punjab team, she played around 40 one-day and T20 matches. She was a top performer for the Punjab team. In 2014, she played for the Rupali Bank in the Dhaka Cricket League, becoming the first women cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to play in Bangladesh. In the tournament, she played 10 matches and reached the final, but lost to the Muhammedan club. In 2022, she played in the same tournament for Mohammedan Sporting Club. In September 2017, she became the first woman cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to be selected for a national camp for the India women’s national cricket team but did not get a chance to play. In 2019, she was selected for the Women’s IPL tournament by the Trailblazers team. In the tournament, she became the second-highest run-getter after she smashed 273 runs in seven matches. In 2018, she became part of the India Red women’s team for the Women’s Challenger Trophy One-Day Tournament-2019. In 2021, she joined the Rajasthan cricket team as the skipper. In 2021, she scored 501 runs in nine matches which included two centuries and a fifty in the Senior Women’s One Day tournament. She emerged as the highest run-getter of the tournament. On 13 February 2023, she was bought by Delhi Capitals (DC) for Rs. 20 lakhs in the Women’s Premier League (WPL). In the beginning, the amount was Rs. 10 Lakh, but it was increased to Rs.20 lakh.
- She is called by the name Jassi by her teammates.
- She was trained by Khalid Hamid and Murtuza Bashir when she was young.
- When she was a student, she participated in many national-level competitions in the U-17 and U-19 categories for different sports including Cricket, Softball and Kabaddi held under the School Games Federation of India. As an athlete, she was even selected by the PT Usha Academy in Pahalgam during trials, but she decided to choose cricket as her profession.
Jasia Akhtar posing with her awards
- She used to travel from Shopian to Srinagar and back to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association facility for practice which cost her Rs.250 per trip. She used to save her pocket money and started teaching tuition to earn money. She also used to help her father who worked as a labour.
Jasia Akhtar helping her father to make their house
- In an interview, she talked about the condition of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association and said that the basic equipment, including bats, balls, gloves and helmets, was not available there. She used to note down the points about the playing style of the national players she saw on television because there was no one to guide them.
- In an interview, she said that she faced a lot of problems when she used to play in her hometown. Some of her neighbours told her family to not let her play and instead teach her household work, but her family never stopped her from playing. In 2004, when she was in class eight, her home was attacked by some militants who also threatened her family to stop Jasia from playing. At that time also, her family did not stop her, but she got very afraid and stopped playing. She started playing again after six years. In an interview, she said that she wanted to start a foundation for female cricketers in Kashmir so that they don’t lack facilities and an environment that she did not have while growing up.
- In an interview, she talked about the challenges she faced when she moved from Kashmir to Punjab and said,
The transition from Kashmir to Punjab was difficult. The language was different. The culture was new. But eventually, Punjab became home to me. Punjab and Rajasthan have given me so much love that I can’t express it in words.”
- Her biggest challenge during her struggling days was her financial condition. She used to take a 12-hour bus to travel from Amritsar to Shopian and would not eat anything because the ticket fare was Rs. 1500 which was a lot for her for one trip.
- In an interview, she said that she was not convinced to play in the Dhaka Cricket League in 2014, but when she got to know that she would be paid dollar 3000 per match, she immediately agreed.
- In an interview, her brother said that she brought jerseys for the children in their village when she visited her home.
- In an interview, she said that when she went to Punjab, there were many big players including her favourites Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur and she realized that she had to work hard to achieve the kind of success they had. In another interview, Jasia said that once she was gifted a bat by the Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur when she scored 39 runs on 25 balls against Punjab.
- In an interview, she talked about her selection in the World Premier League in 2023 and said,
I got a call from my brother after I switched on my phone and he told me that I had been picked by Delhi Capitals. I didn’t believe him, but then I spoke with my parents and they were very excited. I felt proud after being taken by such a big franchise. I am excited to play with Meg Lanning and Marizanne Kapp.”
- In 2023, she motivated the Under-19 women cricketers of Rajasthan in an event organised by the Aadishakti Women Foundation in collaboration with the Marwadi International Federation.