Asha Shobana is an Indian cricketer. She is an all-rounder and played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League.
Asha Shobana Joy was born on Saturday, 16 March 1991 (age 32 years; as of 2023) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. Asha pursued her primary schooling at the Cotton Hill Girls Higher Secondary School, Vazhuthacaud, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and then completed her schooling at St.Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Pattom, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She used to play gully cricket with her cousins from an early age. From a young age, she used to watch cricket matches on television and she was inspired by Sachin Tendulkar‘s innings during India’s match against Australia in the 1998 Coca-Cola Cup. In an interview, she revealed that she was a school student when she first saw a women’s cricket match on the Doordarshan channel and watched her idol Neetu David playing for the team; shortly after that, she saw a newspaper advertisement for the women’s district teams trials. She decided to attend the trials but initially was hesitant to inform her parents, so she asked the help of the school’s Physical Training teacher to reach the trial ground. Asha was 12-and-a-half-year-old when she was selected for the team. In March 2011, she started working at the Indian Railways.
Height (approx.): 5′ 5″
Weight (approx.): 55 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): 33-28-35
She belongs to a middle-class Malayali family in Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
Her father’s name was B. Joy. He was an auto driver. Her mother’s name was S. Sobhana.
On 2 January 2017, she got married to Ashwin Vijay. Ashwin was also a cricketer and represented the Hyderabad cricket team.
Asha Shobana follows Christianity.
She was 12-and-a-half years old when she was selected for the Thiruvananthapuram district women’s cricket club and soon became a starter in the district team. During her successful spell with the district club, she was noted by former Kerala women’s cricket team captain Shabina Jacob, who later became her mentor. Shabina wanted Asha to be a part of the state team as she could gain more experience and declared her as the “most promising youngster.” In 2003, shortly after Shabina noticed Asha, she was selected for the Kerala women’s team that travelled to Chennai for the Senior Games; but she did not play in any of the matches. She made her debut for the Senior Kerala team at the age of 14 and became a key player for the Kerala women’s team and captained the squad for nearly ten years.
She then played for the South Zone and made her debut at the age of 16. Asha was 19 years old when she played in the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy. During the 2011/2012 season, she took 10 wickets from five matches and scored two fifties for Kerala. In 2011, she took 12 wickets from four matches and was the top wicket-taker in the inter-zone women’s cricket tournament held at Ahmedabad. Following her stellar performances she was selected for the Railways team.
On 10 March 2012, she was part of the Indian Board President’s Women XI team that lost to the Australian women’s national team by 5 wickets during their tour of India. She failed to score any runs and was run out by Meg Lanning; Asha bowled three overs and took the wicket of Lanning. She played for the South Central Railway women’s team along with former India women’s captain Mithali Raj, who described her as a “gutsy cricketer.” She was part of the India Blue women’s cricket team (formerly known as India A) led by Smriti Mandhana, which competed in the 2017-2018 Senior Women’s Challenger Trophy. On 8 January 2018, she took three wickets from ten overs in the final against India Green (formerly known as India B) at Holkar Stadium, Indore; India Blue won the match by 33 runs.
In 2018, she was part of the India A team that faced the Australian women’s national team during their tour of India. On 6 March 2018, she scored 11 runs from 19 balls and bowled six overs at an economy of 9.16. On 8 March 2018, she bowled four overs at an economy of 4.75 and scored 13 runs from 16 balls; Asha took the catch of Alyssa Healy. She was dismissed by Jess Jonassen through an lbw. In the second round of the 2019-2020 Women’s Senior T20 Trophy, she recorded a four-wicket haul against Himachal Pradesh women’s team. In 2020, she achieved a four-wicket haul for the Railways team against the Goa women’s cricket team. Asha was part of the Railways squad that won the 2019-2020 Women’s Senior T20 Trophy. She was part of the Railways team that won the Women’s Senior One-Day Trophy in the 2020-2021 season.
Asha was part of the Railways team that won the 2021–22 Women’s Senior T20 Trophy. In 2022, after leaving the Railways team, she started playing for the Puducherry women’s cricket team and enjoyed a fruitful season and was able to impress the scouts who scouted for the Women’s Premier League.
Sri Lanka Cricket Women’s Division One Tournament
In 2018, she played for Chilaw Marians Cricket Club Women in the Sri Lanka Cricket Women’s Division One Tournament and was named the Player of the Tournament.
Women’s Premier League
In 2023, she was purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). In their opening match against Delhi Capitals, she bowled two overs at an economy of 14.50 and scored two runs before Radha Yadav caught her out after a failed attempt for a pull shot. She was left out of the playing eleven for their matches against the Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Giants.
In 2023, she was purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a sum of Rs. 10 Lakhs for the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League.
- Male Cricketer (Bowler): Anil Kumble, Shane Warne, and Stuart MacGill
- Football Club: Arsenal F.C.
- Singers: Adam Levine and Eminem
- She is also known as Asha Sobhana Joy.
- She often posts about her pet dog, Dexter, (Golden Retriever) on her social media pages.
- Her jersey number is 7.
- She is an ardent supporter of Arsenal F.C. In an interview, she revealed that her dream was to watch an Arsenal vs Liverpool football match at the Emirates stadium in London, England.
- The Kerala Cricket Association sent a 15-year-old Asha to train at the MAC spin foundation in Chennai under the former Australian cricketer Terry Jenner, who was Shane Warne’s coach. In an interview, she revealed that she was the only girl among the 15 students and that she was a bit shy during the initial days; then Terry asked her to bowl in the nets and asked the others to bowl like her.
- She owns a Volkswagen Polo.
- In an interview, she revealed that Shabina Jacob supported and helped her during her initial days as a cricketer.
- In January 2012, she was included in the 20-player probables list for the India Women’s tour of the West Indies.
- She used to train with Sanju Samson at the Medical College Ground in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Sanju and Asha both hail from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
- In October 2020, she launched her cricket brand ‘AV Sports’.
- She has a tattoo on her left upper arm. (Her initials A, J and 1691)