|Baby Zee News
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 163 cm
in meters- 1.63 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 4”
|Date of Birth
|7 September 2004 (Tuesday)
|Age (as of 2022)
|Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
|Ratai Purwa, Unnao District, Uttar Pradesh
|Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Ganj Muradabad
|Relationships & More
|Father- Shivram (deceased)
Mother- Savitri Devi (field labourer)
|Brother- Budhiman Singh (deceased), Rohit Kumar (worked at a clothing factory in Kapashera Border in New Delhi)
Some Lesser Facts About Archana Devi
- Archana Devi is an Indian cricketer who plays for the India women’s national under-19 cricket team. She was a part of the Indian squad that won the ICC Women’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup in 2023. She represents Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket.
- She comes from a humble background and grew up in a house made of straw in Ratai Purwa village of Unnao District, Uttar Pradesh.
- She experienced a rough childhood after her father died of cancer when she was four. Her mother, Savitri Devi, solely raised her three children meanwhile repaying the loans raised by Archana’s father. She worked as a field labourer. Later, Savitri’s maternal family gifted her a cow. Thereafter, she started selling dairy products made from her cow’s milk to supplement her income.
- Archana’s school teacher Poonam Gupta recognised her passion for cricket and enrolled her in Rovers Cricket Club, Kanpur. In an interview, Poonam talked about the same and said,
I saw a passion in her and I had this gut feeling that this girl is a talent and if given a good platform, can play for the country. I got her registered in the Kanpur Cricket Association and did my bit to help her, rest it was all her hard work.”
- There, she trained under coach Kapil Pandey, who is known for giving coaching to Indian spinner Kuldeep Yadav. As Kanpur is 30 km away from Archana’s native village, Kapil, with the help of Poonam and others, rented a room for Archana in J. K. Colony, Kanpur. Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav also helped Archana by buying her a cricket kit. Whenever Kuldeep visited Kanpur, he would practice with Archana and other trainees and teach them the nuances of cricket.
- Archana used to bowl medium pace when she started training, but later, Pandey suggested she bowl off-spin.
- Archana spent her childhood playing cricket with her brother Budhiman, who was just a year older than her. In 2017, he died of a snakebite while trying to recover the ball out of the lumber. One day, while the two were playing cricket, Archana hit a shot, and the ball went into the under-constructed room that the family stopped building in 2007 following Archana’s father’s death. Budhiman would always use a bat to get the ball out of the scrap, but that day he used his hands and was bitten by a Cobra, leading to his death. Budhiman unconditionally supported Archana’s cricketing career, and his last words to his mother were,
Archana ko cricket khilao”
(Let Archana play cricket)
- Thereafter, Archana Devi’s mother, Savitri, became a victim of society’s regressive mindset. Her relatives taunted her for “showing her daughter the wrong path” by encouraging her to play cricket. Her mother was also called “daayan” (witch) by the people of their native village, who blamed her for the deaths of Archana’s brother and father. Archana’s brother Rohit Kumar recalled the insults endured by his mother an interview and said,
Meri maa ko daayan bulate they gaon waale, kehte they pehle apni husband ko kha gayi, fir apne bete ko, inko dekh le toh raasta badal lete they, humari ghar ko daayan ka ghar kahaa jaata tha.”(They used to call my mother a witch, they would say she first killed her husband, then her son. If anyone sees her on the road, they will change their route. Our home was called witches’ house)
- Growing up, Archana detested wearing frocks and girly clothes. She liked to dress up in boyish clothes. People would frown upon Archana’s clothing and blame Savitri for not instilling feminity in her. Eventually, Savitri enrolled Archana at the all-girls boarding school Kasturba Gandhi Awasiya Balika Vidyalaya in Ganj Moradabad, which is 15-20 km away from Ratai Purwa. With Archana away at boarding school, rumours spread that Savitri had sold Archana to some dubious dealer. In the interview, while talking about the same Savitri said,
Ladki ko bech diya, ladki ko galat dhande mey daal diya hai, ye saari baatein mere muh pe bolte they”
(I have sold my daughter, I have put her in a wrong line. People used to tell me these things to my face)
- In her first match, she represented Uttar Pradesh’s U-16 team in a match against Assam in 2018. She picked up three wickets in the match.
- Soon, she made her way to UP’s U-19 team.
- She represented India C in the Women’s U19 T20 Challenger Trophy 2022.
- She played for India A in the Women’s Quadrangular U19 T20 Series (2022). India A won the final match against India B by 77 runs and 7 Wickets.
- She made her international debut for India women’s national under-19 cricket team on 29 November 2022 during the second match of the New Zealand Women’s Under-19s tour of India 2022/23. She picked up three wickets in the match. All five matches of the T20 series were won by India.
- She represented India A in the Quadrangular Women’s U19 T20 Series 2022, which won the tournament by 77 runs.
- The family members work hard to make ends meet, but they are constantly hit by adversities. Her brother Rohit Kumar used to work at a clothing factory in Kapashera Border in New Delhi, but he lost his job during the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2022. In an interview, Rohit Kumar described the hardships faced by them and said,
We face floods every year. Half the time, our farm is flooded with waters of the river Ganga. We depended on the milk of our cow and buffalo (one each). We survived all these years because of our mother. She even forced me to complete my graduation and now wants me to prepare for government jobs.”
However, Archana withstood all the setbacks in her stride and became a standout cricketer.
- She was named in India’s squad for the 2023 ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup held in South Africa. Other played named to the squad were Shafali Verma (captain), Shweta Sehrawat (vice-captain), Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Gongadi Trisha, Soumya Tiwari, Sonia Mendhiya, Hrishita Basu (wicket-keeper), Sonam Yadav, Mannat Kashyap, Hurley Gala, Archana Devi, Titas Sadhu, Falak Naz, Shabnam Shakil. In the final match on 29 January 2023, off-spinner Archana Devi showed an extraordinary performance taking two wickets for 17 runs in three overs. She also pulled off a stunning one-handed catch during the match.
On 29 January 2023, the Indian women’s cricket team won the ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup, beating England by seven wickets in the final at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom, South Africa. India became the inaugural champions of the age-group tournament.
- A local cop arranged an inverter to ensure an uninterrupted power supply to Archana Devi’s village, Ratai Purwa, for the telecast of the T20 World Cup final as the village had frequent power cuts.