The youngest-ever to play T20I cricket for India, Shafali Verma shot to fame during the women’s exhibition match that was played towards the fag end of IPL 2019. Not many know that Shafali had to disguise as a boy during her childhood to train as there was no academy for girls in her native place, Rohtak. Her father reluctantly agreed to this plan despite the obvious fear of being caught. She often found it tough facing male bowlers at that young age, but the baptism by fire prepared her for future challenges. A 16-year-old scoring runs by the bucketful is a good reason for excitement in itself, but it is her impressive strike rate, still uncommon in Indian women’s cricket so far – that is adding to the hype.
In the ongoing women’s T20 World Cup, the 16-year-old smashed a six over covers on the 5th ball of India’s innings and made her intentions clear. Verma has already announced her emergence on the global stage. She has scored 68 runs across two games in this World Cup, including five sixes and seven fours, at an impressive strike rate of 212. She’s made a huge impact and the team has become more balanced thanks to her.
Shafali is certainly playing some fearless cricket and her hits remind us of Sehwag for sure.