When Virat Kohli hit the winning four in the super over against Mumbai Indians – a lady in the Royal Challengers Bangalore dug out was seen fist bumping with others. She was the only lady in the dugout and was wearing the team jersey. Well, she is Navina Gautam, RCB’s massage therapist.
This is her maiden season with the IPL franchise. The Bangalore-based franchise had announced her appointment last October and it had grabbed the headlines all over the country. And the reason behind it was the lack of female support staff members in the IPL.
Before the appointment of Navnita Gautam, only two female support staff members were hired by only one franchise in the 13-year history of IPL. Deccan Chargers, who are no more a part of the league, had hired massage therapists Ashleigh Joyce and Patricia Jenkins.
But while Navnita Gautam is currently having her first stint in IPL, she is not new to working with cricket or any other sports team. The Canada-based massage therapist has worked with Toronto Nationals in the Global T20 Canada league, and with the India women’s basketball team during the Asia Cup.
RCB triumphs in super over:
As far as the game is concerned, RCB did extremely well to overcome a stunning performance from Ishan Kishan and Kieron Pollard to win the game. After scoring 201 for 3, RCB had reduced Mumbai Indians to 78 for 4 in the 12th over. However, Kishan and Pollard shared a 119-run stand to turn the game on its head and eventually helped Mumbai push the contest to the super over.
In the super over, Navdeep Saini bowled brilliantly to restrict Mumbai to 7. In reply, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli sealed the game for their side on the final ball of the super over.