When rain lashed the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru recently, an incongruous sight met the eye; a woman shouted orders at groundmen who hurried to cover the pitch and the outfield. Cricket administration is still a man’s world, but Jacintha Kalyan has carved her niche in it.
Jacintha is the only BCCI-qualified woman curator in the country and among a handful of chosen few in the world. Chosen because the job of a curator is an exacting one. The pitch and the outfield demand constant care and nurturing and regardless of rain or sunshine, the curator must deliver.
Currently, it’s the peak season for Jacintha, with BCCI’s domestic calendar set to unfold. The 47-year-old crisscrosses the city overseeing pitch and ground preparations at various venues. Amidst her busy schedule, she took time off to speak to TOI about her journey from Harobele village in Kanakapura to the hallowed turf at Bengaluru’s only international ground, which is now her second home.
Second homes though are familiar territory for Jacintha. Born into an agricultural family, Jacintha spent much of her growing up years in a hostel, which she joined when in class
3. Educational options in her village were pretty much non-existent and her parents were bent on ensuring a good education.
College brought her to Bengaluru but in 1993, while still a student, she secured the job of receptionist at Karnataka State Cricket Association’s clubhouse.