India look to next generation at Women’s T20 World Cup | Cricket News
Long-serving captain Mithali Raj and record fast pitcher Jhulan Goswami, women’s pioneers baseball in India, both retired last year.
new captain Harmanpreet Kaur said both players are still available to offer advice, but it’s time to look ahead.
“Whenever we need them, they are always ready to serve us, that’s what you expect from senior players,” the 33-year-old said at a recent press conference.
“No one has been able to fill their position, but the young girls who are getting the opportunity are doing very well.”
One of the players who took his chance was Verma, an opening attacking player who led India to victory in the opening ceremony of the Under-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa last month.
The 19-year-old will return to the familiar ground for the T20 World Cup, once again in South Africa.
It kicks off on 10 February and India is chasing its first breakout title, after finishing second behind hosts Australia in the previous tournament, in 2020.
Their first match was against arch-rivals Pakistan on February 12 in Cape Town.
Verma made his international debut at the age of 15 and was in the team that reached the finals of the T20 World Cup 2020.
She also played in the one-day World Cup and was a member of the Indian team that won a silver medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The youngster looks to the famous British tennis player Liam Livingstone and sees the great Sachin Tendulkar of India as a role model.
After winning the Under-19 World Cup with the Indian captain, Verma said: “This is just the beginning.”
“When I got into the U19 team, I was just focused on winning the Under-19 Cup and we won that today,” ESPNCricinfo quoted her as saying.
“I’m going to look to carry this winning confidence with me and win the high-profile World Cup.”
Extremely excited to see this campaign again as the leader awaits to be greeted with the trophy back home 🙏🏼 🇮🇳.… https://t.co/b5jM5hyp1h
– Harmanpreet Kaur (@ImHarmanpreet) 1675525856000
In addition to Verma, the Indian team also has the presence of Smriti Mandhana, Richa Ghosh, Deepti Sharma And Renuka Singh.
The women’s game is making inroads into the cricket-crazy country, with the inaugural Women’s Premier League being held in March, ahead of the men’s IPL.
Last month, India’s cricket board auctioned off five women’s IPL teams for $572.5 million.
Cricket journalist Sharda Ugra told AFP the new generation “is ready to represent the modern generation of female cricketers”.
📸 #T20WorldCup is ready 👌🏻Let’s do this #TeamIndia 💪🏻 https://t.co/JGaDeQyHFA
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) 16755906636000
“The women’s IPL will begin and they are the perfect representation of the type of Indian female cricketer of the T20 generation.
“They have the right mindset and they’re very, very talented.”