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Urmila Rosario: From tennis ball girl to managing cricket world champions, Mangalurean on a roll

MANGALURU: Tennis world’s loss is cricket’s gain. That’s how you can put in a nutshell the life of Urmila Rosario , 34, the manager of the Australian cricket team, whose pictures holding the ICC men’s Cricket World Cup trophy went viral on social media since last Sunday night.

Daughter of Ivy and Valentine Rosario, who hail from Kinnigoli near here, Urmila was born in Doha, Qatar, like her three elder siblings.
She is the only one among the four children of the couple who chose sports instead of academics as a career.

Her eldest brother Dr David Rosario is a senior lecturer in astrophysics at Newcastle University. Of the other two brothers, Dr Rose Ishwari is in Scotland, while Uday Rosario teaches international law at Georgetown University, Qatar.

Proud parents Ivy and Valentine said Urmila was into sports since she was a child and tried her hand in all kinds of disciplines, particularly tennis.

Starting as a ballgirl, she did well while playing for her school, but freak accidents left her with a fractured right leg thrice during her teens, thereby temporarily punctuating her tennis dream.

Urmila returned to Udupi to pursue her PU from MGM, but after the first year, she joined Bhupathi Tennis Village , run by Krishna Bhupathi, former India tennis player and coach for many Davis Cup stars. At the tennis village, Urmila pursued her tennis ambition in right earnest.

However, with her leg starting to impede her progress, Krishna Bhupathi came up with a rather shocking prognosis -- given the extent and nature of her injuries, Urmila would not be able to become a professional tennis player. However, all was certainly not lost as Krishna was quick to add that Urmila could make a good career in a sports management role.

That was when she returned to Doha to earn a degree in Business Management from Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar. After a three-year stint at Qatar Tennis Federation , she moved to Australia.

“She chose to stay in Australia, where she wanted to join a tennis academy, but an opportunity suddenly opened up in a different discipline: At Adelaide cricket team.

Later, she joined the Australian women’s cricket team as its manager. Before last year’s FIFA World Cup , Urmila took leave from her role as the manager of a cricket team and took up a part-time responsibility to manage a football stadium in Qatar for four months. On her return to Australia this September, she was told to manage the Australian men’s cricket team for the World Cup in India.

Now that her responsibilities are done and dusted with the Australian men’s team, she will join the Australian women’s cricket team on their tour of India, starting next month.

Valentine feels Urmila’s India connections and knowledge of Indian languages may have been the enabling factors, apart from her successful stint at managing the Australian women’s cricket team.

Proud parents Ivy and Valentine, who did not get a chance to speak to Urmila after Australia’s triumph in Ahmedabad in Sunday’s final, were on their way to Bengaluru from Sakleshpur, to be with their daughter, who was scheduled to land in the city from Ahmedabad at 2am Wednesday. After just a day’s break, Urmila will be flying back to Australia.

Valentine said Urmila, who could not visit them for a couple of years due to the Covid pandemic, was with them this March. “She will be with us for Christmas,” he added.