Shafali Verma to play for Birmingham Phoenix in the ‘Hundred’ – Reports

Harmanpreet Kaur, deputy Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma were also allowed to take part in the ‘Hundred’

Shafali Verma
(Image Credit Twitter)

Teen sensation Shafali Verma has created a lot of buzz due to her blistering strokeplay. Often compared with legendary Indian opener Virender Sehwag, Shafali is all set to play for Birmingham Phoenix in ECB’s ‘The Hundred’. She is the fifth Indian who has been granted NOC to participate in the league. Earlier, India’s T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, deputy Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma were also allowed to take part in the ‘Hundred’

The development was confirmed by a reliable BCCI source.

“It is a delightful news not just for Shafali but for Indian women’s cricket that there will be five Indian players in the inaugural edition of The Hundred. She will re-unite with her Sydney Sixers coach Ben Sawyer and the experience should help her grow further in what has already been a very positive road forward for the youngster,” the source said.

Shafali is someone who likes to take on new challenges. Post her spectacular outing in the women’s series against South Africa in March, the 17-year-old revealed that she trained with the Haryana men’s team to improve her game.

“The reason behind the fast foot movement is the time I spent with the Haryana men’s team ahead of the Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament. I cannot thank the Haryana Cricket Association enough for allowing me to train with the team. What it did was that it helped my decision-making power at the crease as I was facing fast bowlers who were touching close to the 140kph mark. So, I had that extra second to decide if I wanted to go back or play off the front foot when I played the T20I series,” she told ANI.

“We had some top-quality bowlers in Mohit Sharma, Ashish Hooda, Ajeet Chahal, Sanjay Pahal and Aman Kumar among others.”

Shafali also pointed out that she is working on her fitness and thanked Haryana Cricket Association for supporting her.

“Yes, I did work on my fitness during the time away from the game due to lockdown. Here too, cannot thank the HCA enough. Every player was catered to individually. Our needs were looked into and even for things like dumbbells, HCA ensured every player had the equipment to train. At the top level, you need to be fit to perform,” she had said.

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