Holly Nagpal is a quietly spoken, yet fiercely determined 15-year-old who has an amazing passion for cricket.
Her passion was born from her parents, Nick and Sangeeta, and her younger brother Harrith.
“I tried many sports as a young person growing up but from the moment I picked up a cricket bat, something inside me just clicked,” she said.
“My family comes from India, where cricket is a religion. My father is my number one supporter and coach. He has been with me since I first picked up a bat.”
At the age of nine, Nagpal joined her younger brother’s cricket club, Burnside-Springs United. She quickly fell made new friends and learned how to play the game.
“I loved the challenges our coaches set me to improve.”
Nagpal, who is a medium fast bowler, won the coach’s award in her first season and in her words which made her even more motivated.
“It is the beauty in the run up and the action of bowling that I love about becoming a bowler.
“I am tested a lot more with my batting, but I am up for the challenge.”
Nagpal made her first representative side in her second season of competitive cricket. She represented the North West Metropolitan Cricket Association in an under-12’s tournament.
“So successful was her debut in representative cricket, Nagpal has continued to be selected in representative teams from the Youth Premier League under-14’s with the Western Spirit to the Youth Super Series under-14’s with the Melbourne Renegades.
In 2018-19, Nagpal was selected in the School Sports Victoria under-12 team that travelled to Western Australia, with her team finishing third.
Nagpal’s bowling statistics are impressive. She took her first hat trick in the under-14’s boys team at Burnside Springs United.
She made her women’s cricket debut with Sydenham-Hillside, before moving to Victorian Premier Cricket club Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies
Her best figures came in her first season with EMP taking 5-20 from nine overs playing in their second XI.
Nagpal was selected in the Victorian team for the under-15 national championships when she was 12-years-old.
“My favourite player is Steve Smith but I closely role model Australian players, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham and Elyse Villani who all play for Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club.
“I not only watch what they do on the ground but what they do off it to prepare to be the best they can. I was lucky enough to be selected in the first XI and played a few games with them.
“What a better way to do it than work and practice hard as I watch these amazing role models close up. My aim is to represent Australia one day.”
Nagpal has a very mature approach to her sport, one that has no doubt been moulded by her family, her coaches, and the Maribyrnong Sports Academy (MSA) where she has been on a sporting and accelerated learning scholarship since year seven.
A typical week during a cricket season includes strength and conditioning training three times a week and these sessions can also include meetings with the nutritionist and sports psychologist. The number of cricket training sessions a week depends on what time of the year it is.
“We work with medium weights to improve our core strength, upper and lower bodies,” she said. “We work on resistance type training to improve our power base. Conditioning sessions also include interval running and sprint sessions.”
However, it hasn’t all been plain sailing for Nagpal, with a stress fracture in her shin causing her to miss games.
She urges all young athletes to be open and honest with coaches, doctors and family about how you are feeling.
This year Nagpal has been selected in the Cricket Victoria under-16 female emerging player program.
While her passion for cricket is infectious, her focus is purely on learning her craft in a very process-oriented manner.
“Every time I pick up a ball or a bat, I learn something about myself that I can use to improve my skills. My school work is equally important to me.”
Nagpal is the Sunshine Western Region Sports Club, October Don Deeble Sports Star Award winner. Her award is sponsored by the Yarraville Club Cricket Club, Strathmore Community Bank and the Deer Park Club.
If you would like to nominate a monthly winner or attend a dinner at the Medway Golf Club, please
contact the club by emailing email@example.com or sms 0408 556 631.