Mithali Raj (L) and Shafali Verma poses for a picture
India’s 16-year-old women’s cricket sensation Shafali Verma shot to the top of the ICC’s T20 batting rankings yesterday after several match winning performances at the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Verma, who has only played 18 internationals since her debut last year, is touted by many experts as a major long term star for women’s cricket in India.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) called her 19-place rise “remarkable” as it released the new rankings. She is only the second Indian after Mithali Raj to top the women’s T20 batting rankings and pushed New Zealand’s veteran Suzie Bates down to second on the list.
Verma is the third highest scorer at the World Cup where India play England in the semi-finals on Friday.
She has hit nine sixes in the competition so far -- more than anyone else.
Verma will face-off in the game against left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone of England who has just taken over as the world’s leading T20 bowler.
She made headlines with her battle to get into cricket, cutting her hair like a boy so she could get into the local academy to train.
“At eight or nine, all kids look the same. After the haircut, most didn’t even notice she was a girl and she started playing regularly at weekends,” her father Sanjeev told AFP last October after she made her India debut. -AFP