Teen batting sensation Shafali Verma took the cricketing world by storm at the start of the year in the Women’s T20 World Cup Down Under. Playing against some of the best cricketers from across the world, she showed great composure as she sent opposition teams on a leather hunt. But the coronavirus pandemic put a sudden break on her dreams and like most other sportsperson, Shafali has had to stay indoors in the last six months as the world came to a grinding halt due to the virus.

Now, with the BCCI set to hold the Women’s Challenger tournament from November 4 to 9 at the Sharjah cricket stadium — in all likelihood — Shafali says she is all geared up to hit the ground running.

Speaking to ANI, Shafali said it is great news for women’s cricket that the challengers series — comprising of three teams — will happen and added that she understands the need to abide by the rules and regulations that would be put in place to ensure safety against the coronavirus.

“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,” the 16-year-old said.

The Indian women cricketers, who have been eagerly waiting for resumption of cricket, finally have a reason to smile as the Indian board will organise four women’s T20 games during the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE.

Throwing light on how she has been working on her game during the lockdown, the youngster said that the Haryana Cricket Association and her coach Ashwani Kumar deserve a lot of credit for keeping her in the right shape and frame of mind.

“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.

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“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 said.

While the women’s tournament will see the best players across the globe fighting it out, those involved with the Women’s Big Bash League will be missing out as the WBBL clashes with the dates of the Indian tournament.

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