Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup final – Shafali Verma ‘not going to be satisfied’

“This is just the beginning,” smiled India Under-19 captain Shafali Verma, fresh from leading her country to the Women’s Cricket World Cup title. The beauty of this statement was that it was – and is – just the beginning.

For many of the participants from 16 countries, the ICC Women’s Under-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa was their first attempt to represent their country and play abroad. And it will surely spark a few promising careers, including that of Grace Scrivens, player of the tournament and Shafali’s opposite number as India cruised to a seven-wicket-six-over victory in Potchefstroom.

Scrivens scored 293 runs – four short of tournament leader and Shafali’s opening partner Shweta Sehrawat – and took nine wickets. She returns home hoping to lead her Sunrisers side to victory beyond 2022 without a win in both the 50-run and T20 domestic competitions, as well as building on her budding Centurion career with the ultimate goal of “one day quickly breaking into the England first team”. .

On the other hand, Shafali is already in the midst of her senior international career and along with wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, will join the Indian senior squad for the T20 World Cup, which starts on February 10, later this week. will begin in Cape Town. .

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“I’m someone who focuses on the task at hand,” Shafali said. “When I came into the under-19s, I just focused on winning the under-19 cup and we won that today. I will try to take this confidence from victory and win the senior world cup. I will try to forget it and get into the senior team and win the world cup.

Shafali, who turned 19 on the eve of the final, entered the tournament with 74 senior caps. After scores of 45 and 78 against South Africa and UAE respectively, she added just 34 runs in four innings to the winner’s title, where she also fell cheaply along with Sehrawat as India slumped to 20 for 2.

But despite England also defending a narrow total to see off Australia in the semi-finals, those early knocks from Scrivens and Hannah Baker, the leg-spinner who has been another revelation of the tournament, could not deny Shafali and her team, who were cruising. to your goal.

For his part, Scrivens said he learned a lot.

“As a captain, it’s the first time I’ve done it for a while. I’ve done it when I was younger, but it’s on a different stage with much, much more,” she said. “So I think I learned a lot from that … learning more about the players was great.

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“It’s about getting to know your players and learning what makes them tick and what doesn’t and what you need to do to support them. I think I’ve been able to do that throughout the tournament.

“As a team we’ve learned so much, the way we battled in the semi-finals was incredible.” I think the fight that each of us showed was great, as well as being in South Africa, learning about the conditions, playing overseas. . It will only give us more experience and improve our career and future.

Shafali later revealed that amidst all the talk of what lies ahead, there is an element of looking back. The pain of defeat when India tried in vain to bowl out 185 against Australia in the T20 Women’s World Cup final at the MCG three years ago provided plenty of motivation and she was emotional before her post-match presentation – this time a triumphant one.

“That last game in Melbourne was a very emotional day for me, we didn’t win. When I joined the under-19s I was just thinking, ‘You know, we’ve got to win this cup’. I’m just saying to all the girls, ‘We’ve got to win this cup, we’re here. for the cup”.

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“We lost the World Cup and it was tears of sadness. Today it was tears of happiness because we achieved what we came here for. I tried to control it but it couldn’t happen. I will look at it as a big achievement and try to use it to learn something more . I will try to score more runs for India and I will not be satisfied with this cup. This is just the beginning.”

Man-of-the-match Titus Sadhu, India’s only seamer, and all-rounder Archana Devi, who took two wickets each (not to mention catching the latter at extra-cover), left England. roll, as well as 16-year-old leg-spinner Parshavi Chopra, who also claimed two. Then there was Soumya Tiwari and Gongadi Trisha who handled most of the run chase, albeit a small one, after Shafali and Sehrawat departed.

“I can’t put it into words, but thank you to the whole team for how they performed and how they supported each other,” said Shafali. “I’m going to miss this party.”

She might not have to wait long before she meets some of them again.

Valkerie Baynes is Editor-in-Chief of ESPNcricinfo


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