The No.1 T20 batsman has been roped in to play in the inaugural edition of The Hundred. Shafali Verma will turn up for Birmingham Phoenix, with the 17-year-old serving as a replacement for New Zealand’s Sophie Devine.
Shafali Verma spoke to The Indian Express about her The Hundred contract, and the 17-year-old offered a level-headed response when asked about the feat.
“Koi tension nahi hain. Bus acha perform karna hain aur desh aur papa ka naam roshan karna hain (There’s no tension. I just want to perform to the best of my abilities and make my country and father proud),” Verma said.
Shafali Verma is just the fifth Indian woman cricketer to become part of the tournament. She will join fellow teammates Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma in the competition that begins on July 21.
The upcoming few months will have Shafali Verma playing a majority of her cricket in England. India Women will tour England for a bilateral series in June, with the explosive batter set to be part of the white-ball side.
It will serve as Shafali Verma’s first piece of international action since March when she lit up the T20 series between India and South Africa.
With India reeling under a disastrous second wave, Shafali Verma admits the pandemic has hampered her preparation.
“With so much cricket scheduled over the next three months, I would have liked to practice at my coach Ashwani sir’s academy. I miss the nets session. But given the current situation (pandemic and lockdown), this is the best that I could have done,” Verma admitted.
Shafali Verma set to feature in WBBL 2021
A stint in the inaugural edition of The Hundred will be followed by a debut outing in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) later this year in Australia. ESPNCricinfo confirmed the news of Shafali Verma’s two-year contract with the Sydney Sixers, with her father crediting the BCCI and Haryana Cricket Association for the 17-year-old’s meteoric rise.
“Yes, Shafali has signed a contract with Sydney Sixers, and given she is a minor, I have had to give my consent, too. I would like to thank the BCCI and Haryana Cricket Association [HCA] for giving my daughter the permission and support to play in the WBBL. Without the guidance of the HCA, whatever Shafali is doing in her career wouldn’t have been possible,” Sanjeev Verma told ESPNcricinfo
In her short time in international cricket, Shafali Verma has proved her mettle as a destructive batter in T20 cricket. Stints in The Hundred and WBBL 2021 will only enhance her game, as she continues her journey towards becoming one of the most exciting cricketers in international cricket.