The owners and their family members have been seen frequently in the team dugouts in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the past. However, this time there wasn’t an owner but a member of the support staff.
When Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) won the match through the Super Over against the Mumbai Indians (MI) on Monday, 28 September, the viewers noticed a lady in the RCB dugout celebrating and fist-bumping all the players, and they wondered who she was, being the only lady seen in and around the squad.
She is Navnita Gautam, the massage therapist for the RCB for IPL 2020. Gautam is from Canada and has worked with the Toronto Nationals in Global T20 League, Canada. She always wanted to be associated with cricket and wanted to be the part of IPL and that’s why she shifted her base to India in 2017.
RCB appointed Gautam for the job in October 2019, which grabbed the headlines all over the country. The reason behind it was the lack of female support staff members in the IPL. This is her maiden season in the cash-rich league.
This is not the first time, an IPL side has seen a female therapist. But, it is the only second time in the 13 years of the league. Now defunct Deccan Chargers had hired massage therapists, Ashleigh Joyce and Patricia Jenkins.
Gautam is not new to the sport, apart from being in the GLT20 Canada, she has also been with the India women’s basketball team during the Asia Cup.
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