With 744 points, 16-year-old Shafali Verma has stormed into the third position in the WT20I batting rankings by ICC, which was released recently. She is joined by 24-year old Smriti Mandhana and 20-year old Jemimah Rodrigues at the seventh and ninth position respectively.
The list is headed by Beth Mooney of Australia with 748 points. Australia also has three cricketers in the top 10 while there are two from New Zealand, one from West Indies and one from England each.
In the WT20 ICC rankings released for the top ranked women bowlers, Deepti Sharma with 716 points leads the pack for India at the 6th position. She is followed by 20-year old Radha Yadav and 29-year old Poonam Yadav at the 7th and 8th position respectively. Deepti Sharma is the only Indian who features in the list of the top all-rounders for WT20I.
Just a year old in international cricket, Shafali has already made her presence felt in the sport. A few weeks into her debut, she traveled to the West Indies where she became the youngest Indian to score an international half-century. In the process, she broke a 30-year-old record held by Sachin Tendulkar who was 16 at the time.
Smriti was the only Indian player named in the ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016. In 2018, she was adjudged the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year. When she was asked to lead the women’s team against England in February 2019, she became the youngest T20 captain for India.
She started playing cricket at the age of four and also had a penchant for Hockey. She has represented Maharashtra in the Hockey Under-17 category. Jenimah made her T20 and ODI debut in 2018 and has been a mainstay in India’s women’s cricket team.
Deepti made her international debut in 2014 against South Africa. The Jagmohan Dalmiya Trophy for Best Domestic Senior Women’s Cricketer was awarded to her in 2018 by the BCCI.
Radha’s father runs a vegetable stall behind her house which was in the slums. Her coach, Prafful Naik, noticed her when she was playing cricket along with her neighbours. She made her international debut in 2018. Radha was the joint-leading wicket taker for India in the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament.
Poonam made her international cricketing debut in 2013 against Bangladesh in a WT20I. She was the joint-leading wicket-taker for India in 2018’s ICC Women’s World Twenty20. She was also part of the Indian team to reach the final of the Women’s Cricket World Cup in 2017.
(Edited by Athira Nair)