Shafali Verma – the talented youngster who grabbed the eyeball with a brilliant knock in the domestic season a couple of years ago, left everyone awestruck with her swashbuckling free-flowing batting in the ICC T20 World Cup earlier this year.
She showed her class in the Women’s T20 Challenge last year where she played against and alongside some of the best cricketers from around the globe. She earned her India cap last year during South Africa series. She would’ve entertained more but the global pandemic novel COVID-19 put on a check on every sporting events since mid-March.
While the COVID-19 has brought the entire world into a standstill, it’s imposed lockdown kept everyone indoors and Shafali Verma is no different as well. However, after the cancellation of England tour, the BCCI have geared up for the Women’s T20 Challenge from November 4 to 9 at the Sharjah cricket stadium. Meanwhile, while speaking to ANI, the youngster said that she is ready to hit the ground too.
The Women’s T20 Challenger will comprise of three teams and the tournament will be played in a round-robin format during the playoffs of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL). Meanwhile, the talented youngster said that she understands the essentiality to follow the rules and regulations that will take place to ensure the safety of the players against the COVID-19.
“The lockdown was an unforeseen situation but I looked to use it to the best of my ability and worked hard on my fitness”: Shafali Verma
“The BCCI, like every other organisation is dealing with issues because of COVID and it is understandable. The very fact that the challenger would be happening is great news and I can’t wait to get back on the ground and meet the other players! Yes there will be restrictions but that’s only for our safety,” Verma said.
Meanwhile, the youngster also opened up how she spent time during the lockdown and worked on her game. She credited the Haryana Cricket Association and her coach Ashwani Kumar to keep her in the right shape and frame of mind amid this crunch time.
“The lockdown was an unforeseen situation but I looked to use it to the best of my ability and worked hard on my fitness so that I am ready to go when action resumes. The HCA has been a great strength for us in these times as we were given not just fitness charts, but even our nutritional facts were kept a check on so that as sportspersons we don’t lag behind. Ashwani sir ensures that everyone follows the routine,” shared Shafali Verma.
“Also, the sessions with sports psychologist helped as negativity can creep in during such times when you are stuck indoors, but the HCA ensured that we were kept motivated and knew what awaits us when normalcy returns. Ashwani sir has also always been just a call away,” she concluded.
However, Women’s T20 Challenge will clash with the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) – which is considered as one of the best T20 leagues as well. With this, we wouldn’t get to see many talented players taking place in the tournament in the UAE. None the less, this will mark the Indian players’ return in the action.