Shafali Verma is an Indian cricketer. She holds the record for the youngest ever to play T20 cricket for India.
Shafali Verma was born on Wednesday, 28 January 2004 (Age: 16 years, as in 2020) in Rohtak, Haryana. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius. She has done her schooling from Mandeep Senior Secondary School, Rohtak. In 2018, At the age of 14, in view of her exceptional performances and big-hitting skills, she broke into the Haryana Under-16 women’s team. In one of the matches vs Nagaland, she hammered 128 runs off 56 balls. She played under veteran Mithali Raj for the team “IPL Velocity” in the women’s T20 challenge held in May 2019, where she once again showcased her skills and made her presence felt. Following her remarkable performances, she was picked to play for the national side and made her T20 International debut on 24 September 2019 against South Africa.
Height (approx.): 5′ 4″
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Shafali made her WT20I debut on 24 September 2019 against South Africa, at the tender age of 15 years and became India’s youngest international cricket debutant. In November 2019, barely two months after she made her international debut, she successfully surpassed the 30-year-old record set by her idol and the cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar, when she smashed 73 runs off 49 balls against West Indies, becoming the youngest ever (at the age of 15 years and 285 days) to score an international half-century. Owing to her remarkable performances, Verma was drafted into the Indian squad for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia. She was subsequently granted a Grade C player contract by the BCCI.
Family & Caste
Shafali Verma belongs to a Hindu family. Her father Sanjeev Verma, runs a jewellery shop in Rohtak, Haryana. Sanjeev, who had dreamt of becoming a cricketer once, has played a significant role in developing Shafali Verma’s cricketing career. He initially trained Shafali under him for three years, before admitting her to the Ram Narayan Cricket Club, Rohtak, in 2016. Her Mother, Praveen Bala is a homemaker. Shafali has two siblings, a younger brother and an elder brother Sahil Verma, who also plays cricket.
- The wicketkeeper-batswoman, Shafali started playing cricket in 2012, at the mere age of 8. Her father initiated her batting practise with a tennis ball. He also used to take her to local grounds for practice and sixes drill, he rewarded Shafali 5 rupees for each six she hit. Shafali credits her father for continuously supporting her during the initial phase of her cricket training and ensuring that there were no obstructions.
- The teen prodigy, Shefali Verma once chopped her hair and disguised herself as her brother Sahil Verma who had fallen sick, to represent him at an Under-12 School National Championship in Panipat. Capitalizing on the opportunity, not only did she play a crucial role in her team winning the championship, but she also went on to be named Player of the series.
- The fierce hitter, Shafali initially used to practice with the girls in her academy but, owing to her phenomenal skills her coaches decided to promote her to the Elite Group, where she started playing with the Under-19 boys. Her coach Ashwani Kumar said in an interview that,
The stroke playing power which a player starts to develop at the age of 15, Shafali already had that potential gifted naturally at the tender age of 11-12.”
- Shafali comes from a family who loves cricket. But, her interest in the sport strengthened when she along with her father went to watch Sachin Tendulkar batting at his last Ranji Trophy match at Chaudhary Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium in Lahli, Haryana, in 2013. She also waited outside the guest house where Sachin was staying, but unfortunately, didn’t get a chance to meet the legend. Ever since then, she has idolized Sachin for his batting.
- During the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup 2020, the fearless batting sensation, Shafali Verma climbed the table to attain the first spot in the ICC Women’s T20 International rankings. Though the Indian women team lost to the Australian team in the final, Shafali registered yet another record to her name, becoming the youngest player ever to play in the final of a cricket world cup.