Shafali Verma is an Indian cricketer (Batswoman). Shafali Verma plays for the India women’s national cricket team.


GURUGRAM: Two seasons old in international cricket, 17-year-old Shafali Verma is fully aware of the need to improve constantly and her immediate focus is on tweaking her short ball game against fast bowlers.

Having made her India debut as a 15-year-old prodigy, Shafali has come a long way over the past 24 months and alongside the elegant Smriti Mandhana, forms one of the most explosive opening pairings in women's cricket. She has played a couple of Tests, six ODIs, and 28 T20 Internationals since making her debut in the shortest format in September 2019, enough exposure for top teams like Australia and England to work out her game.

On tours of England and Australia this year, Shafali was peppered with short balls and she didn't look particularly comfortable against them.

To get better against the rising ball, Shafali is facing 200-250 balls from U-25 male players, who can clock 125-130 kph at Shri Ram Narain Cricket Academy in Gurugram under watchful eyes of her coach Ashwani Kumar.

"It feels good that I have been able to complete two years in international cricket but there is a long way to go. I know the areas of my game I need to get better at and one of them is playing the short ball," Shafali told PTI after being named a Hyundai brand ambassador here.

"The coaches have also told me to play as per the ball and I will continue to do that. I will never change my game," said the teenager who is back home after a maiden stint in the Women's Big Bash League in Australia.

During the England and Australia series, Shafali was seen backing away to the short balls and the approach fetched her mixed returns. The coaches at the academy are making her play the short ball on cemented, astroturf, and normal wickets. Besides negotiating high speeds from the U-25 male cricketers, Shafali is also facing throwdowns to cover all bases.

"I won't back away that much going forward. You will see me shuffling around the crease a lot more and play as per the merit of the ball," said Shafali who is also working hard on her fitness. Having very little experience of playing red-ball cricket, Shafali also looked at home when she made her Test debut against England in June. She struck a memorable 96 in the first innings, a knock that will always remain special for her.

With three fifty-plus scores in four innings, she has had a dream start in the five-day format. However, the same can't be said about the six ODIs she played this year, and also lacked consistency in the T20s in Australia and England.

Her coach Ashwani Kumar feels Shafali will only get better with time and experience."We must not forget that she is still 17. Her dream Test debut shows that she has got the required technique to succeed at the highest level.

In the shorter formats, where there is scoreboard pressure, you need to be really quick with your thinking and that is where she needs to improve a bit. As she goes along playing for India, you will see her only getting better," he said. Talking about two years in international cricket, Shafali feels she has learned something new with every game and is most grateful about playing Test cricket.

"In Test cricket, I got to learn a lot more than I thought, especially patience. It is the best format and it was a dream come true for me. I just loved my first Test knock (96), I felt really good out there and I played a lot better than I thought.

That innings will always remain special."Most of the players in the Test squad, including Shafali, had very little experience with the red ball as multi-day cricket is not part of the domestic set-up. For the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand, her plans are simple.

"I just want to be fit and work hard on my game and help India win. I hope I will inspire more girls to play the game. Two seasons in international cricket have been very good for me. My approach is to learn something new from every game and improve."

She also had a lot of praise for her senior partner Smriti Mandhana."She is always backing me on and off the field, tells me to play my natural game and whenever I am struggling in the middle, she always helps me fix my flaws."If I am struggling against a particular bowler, she will tell me 'to take a single and give the strike to me. It is great that I have a batting partner like her." 

My brother was supposed to play but he fell sick – I asked my father if I could play under his name,” Shafali Verma explains. With that began the story of India’s next cricket superstar, a remarkable tale in which a girl disguised herself as a boy simply so she could play the sport she loved. Verma made history in November when, aged 15 years and 285 days, she smashed 73 off 49 balls against West Indies, becoming the youngest Indian cricketer to score a half‑century in internationals, breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s 30‑year‑old record of 59 against Pakistan in 1989. A somewhat neat turn of events given it was Tendulkar who sparked Verma’s fascination in and passion for cricket as a nine‑year‑old girl and after she had watched the “little master” play his last domestic first-class match for Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy encounter in Lahli, Rohtak, in 2013.

Growing up in Rohtak – a reserved, conservative district located 70km north of New Delhi – Verma was rejected from local cricket academies purely because of her gender. Refusing to be discouraged Verma, with the permission of her father, cut her hair so she would look like a boy and, therefore, be allowed to play cricket. And she shone doing so, being named ‘man of the series after coming in for, and pretending to be, her sick brother.

Verma has been on an upward trajectory ever since, making her Twenty20 international debut against South Africa in September 2019 aged 15 years and 239 days, and is fast becoming a key cog in India’s attempts to win a first World T20 title. The 10-team tournament begins in Australia on 21 February, with India facing the hosts in the opening game in Sydney.

Verma, who turned 16 at the end of last month, is still at school and last year missed her grade 10 exams due to cricketing commitments and having shone in the senior women’s interstate T20 tournament in 2018‑19, which included 128 off 56 balls in one inning, she was selected in the Women’s T20 Challenge. Playing for IPL Velocity, Verma received glowing praise from England’s Danni Wyatt, a Velocity teammate. “She is going to be a superstar,” Wyatt said. “She stood out for me in the nets from day one. When I heard she was only 15, I was like ‘wow’.”

Verma now has 324 runs from 14 T20 innings at a remarkable strike rate of 140.86 and one that outshines the career strike rate of the 2019 ICC Women’s Player of the Year Ellyse Perry (105.02). She has also risen above the England captain Heather Knight in the ICC Women’s T20 batting rankings.

India’s youngest debutant has developed a formidable opening partnership with the 2018 ICC Women’s Player of the Year Smriti Mandhana, who herself first appeared for India aged 16. The pair compiled India’s record T20 partnership of 143, against West Indies in November. Verma also top-scored with 69 off 35 balls during a 103‑run chase against the same opposition. Mandhana hit 30 from 28 balls.

India enters the World Cup with a formidable top order. Behind Verma and Mandhana there is Jemimah Rodrigues, who at the age of 19 has amassed nearly 1,000 T20 runs, and the captain Harmanpreet Kaur, who is among the top 10 all-time female T20 run-scorers.

India’s bowling is not great but also may not matter too much should they get it right with the bat, and no one more so than Verma. “She’s an amazing talent and just pure power,” said Cricket Australia’s high‑performance coach, Leah Poulton, after witnessing the teenager perform during a recent Tri-Series encounter. “It was really good to watch. I got into fan mode.”

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Australia captain Meg Lanning and all-rounder Tahlia McGrath have advanced in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings after helping their team clinch the three-match home series against England 1-0 with outstanding performances in the first match in Adelaide.

The pair was associated in a 144-run unbroken stand for the second wicket in the only match that saw a result, Lanning’s 44-ball 64 helping her overtake India’s Smriti Mandhana to third place and McGrath’s Player of the Match effort of 91 off 49 propelling her 29 places to 28th position.

Mandhana’s opening partner Shafali Verma though is back on top of the rankings, overtaking Australia’s Beth Mooney, who was out of the T20I series against England due to an injury. Verma, who attained the number one position for the first time during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, is now two rating points ahead of Mooney at 726.

In the latest weekly update that includes performances in the just concluded five-team ICC
Commonwealth Games Qualifier 2022 in Kuala Lumpur, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu has progressed six places to eighth after aggregating 221 runs in the tournament. Bangladesh’s Murshida Khatun is up 35 places to 48th after totaling 126 runs.

England openers Danni Wyatt (70) and Tammy Beaumont (30), who was associated in an 82-run stand in the first match, have also moved up. Wyatt is up three places to 13th and Beaumont up two places to 16th with captain Heather Knight also joining them in the top 20.

Athapaththu, who was named Player of the Series in the Kuala Lumpur tournament that also featured Bangladesh, Scotland, Kenya, and hosts Malaysia, has moved up four places to 52nd among bowlers. Her four wickets in the tournament included a three-wicket haul in the decisive last match against Bangladesh on Monday. Athapaththu is also up one place to seventh among all-rounders in the list led by New Zealand’s Sophie Devin

India’s 16-year-old woman cricketer Shafali Verma has shot to the top of ICC’s T20 batting rankings after a series of match-winning performances at the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia. In fact, she is now only the second Indian after Mithali Raj to top the women’s T20 batting rankings. Verma is the third-highest scorer at the World Cup and has hit more sixes than anyone in the tournament so far.

But what is truly remarkable is Verma’s battle to get into cricket. As a child, she cut her hair like a boy so she could get into a local cricket academy in Haryana. The gender biases she faced only hardened her resolve to play for the country. Verma’s story once again highlights the obstacles girls and women face in pursuing sports. Patriarchal mores continue to treat women as fragile, discouraging them from physical activities. But ironically if the said physical activities are domestic in nature and serve the women’s families and their male members, then there is no objection at all.

Such patriarchal hypocrisy needs to be countered for women to reach their full potential. In fact, sports can be very empowering for women providing them with a sense of confidence, self-worth, and success. And when stars like Verma emerge, they go on to inspire the next generation of girls — and boys. Verma and others like her who are breaking glass ceilings need to be supported for both sports and their positive impact on society.

On her Test debut, Shafali Verma lit up Bristol. A 152-ball 96, with 13 fours and two sixes, enhanced her reputation as a batting marauder after  England Women declared their first innings on 396/9 in the one-off Test.

Despite being a newcomer at this level, Shafali’s stroke-play had been widely talked about, coming into this game. Through fearless cricket, the 17-year-old lived up to her reputation.

“I am really looking forward to how Shafali plays. She is a match-winner. I only hope they don’t tinker with her game. She is a natural player. I don’t normally like comparing men and women cricketers, but she is someone in the (Virender) Sehwag mold,” former India Women captain Diana Edulji told this paper on the eve of the Test.

Edulji was talking about the positive impact that Shafali’s proactive batting creates. India Women were up against a pretty big score. The teenager’s impact-batting allowed the tourists to put England Women under pressure.

India Women have been playing a Test after a gap of seven years. Little wonder then that this was Shafali’s maiden five-day fixture, although she has already played 22 WT20Is. Her 148-plus strike rate in the shortest format spoke volumes for her hitting talent. But Test cricket was a different ball game, a test of her technique and temperament in English conditions. Shafali passed with flying colors.

“Like any player who gets out in the 90s, I was also disappointed. But next time I will not miss the hundred. When playing international cricket, I never think about how old I am, I only think about how I can contribute to the team,” Shafali said at the post-day press conference.

Shafali’s father Sanjeev didn’t mind her daughter missing the hundred. “I wasn’t tense. Ahead of the Test, when I spoke to Shafali, I told her that she has to play for the country. I am happy that she played well. I am not disappointed that she didn’t score a century,” Sanjeev told.

She went to England a little undercooked. “With so much cricket scheduled over the next three months, I would have liked to practice at my coach Ashwani sir’s academy. I miss the nets session. But given the current situation (pandemic and lockdown), this is the best that I could have done,” Shafali had said during an interaction with this paper last month.

She was forced to improvise her training. In her living room at Rohtak’s Sundar Gully, Shafali’s batting practice was restricted to knocking a hanging leather ball before doing physical conditioning. Her exploits in white-ball cricket have already helped her earn a contract for the inaugural edition of The Hundred with Birmingham Phoenix. Her excellent start in red-ball cricket will add an extra dimension to her game.

During her innings on Thursday, Shahafi was wise beyond her years. She was circumspect to start with, respecting the occasion and England Women’s bowling. Only after tea, did she start playing some extravagant shots. Smriti Mandhana’s (78) composure at the other end helped. Together the two openers put on 167 runs before Shahafi was dismissed.

“I and Smriti would build a partnership and we supported each other and decided to play our natural game. We had a laugh during the partnership. We had decided that we would hit loose balls but there were a few full-tosses that we missed so we were laughing,” said Shafali.

Aggression comes naturally to the youngster. Actually, Shahafi has been taught to be aggressive while playing cricket. “I told Shafali, it is very simple. If you smash a reputed bowler you will make a name for yourself,” her father told this paper last year. Shahafi revels in taking the attack to the opposition. “Growing up my father would tell me and my brother that whoever hits more sixes will get Rs 10 or 15,” she said at the end of the day’s play.

It wasn’t always plain sailing. Far from it. Five years ago, Sanjeev had lost his entire life’s savings of Rs 7.5 lakh to a swindler. With just Rs 280 in his wallet, Shahafi’s cricket future looked uncertain. But as her father said today: “She was destined to be a cricketer.”

Just 17 years of age and such clarity of thought, confidence, and belief in her destructive abilities - that is Shafali Verma who hammered two brilliant fifties on her Test debut against a potent England attack in their own backyard during the one-off Test currently underway at Bristol.

India was under big pressure after England Women had mounted 396 before declaring their first innings. Verma had earned herself a reputation in T20I cricket but Test cricket was a different ball game - a test of technical ability, skill, and mental prowess and not many put their money on the young ‘dasher’ to succeed in this format. But then not many had placed their bets when an Indian middle-order batsman was asked to open for the country for the very first time in the 

summer of 2002 at Lord’s. As it turned out he smashed 84 off 96 deliveries in a total of 221 and went on to revolutionize opening in Test cricket and be regarded as one of the greatest openers in the history of the format.

Just like Virender Sehwag 19 years ago, Verma has defied all the odds and silenced her critics by smashing 96 and 63 in her first outing in Test cricket. She did not get overawed by the occasion, by the opposition bowlers, or the plethora of stars in both the units. She did not care for her reputation and went bowling with gay abandon, and succeeded.

Verma planned her innings beautifully. She respected the conditions and was circumspect against the new ball opening pair of Anya Shrubsole and Katherine Brunt scoring just 11 of the first 29 deliveries she faced. In Sehwag-Esque mode, she got underway with a ferocious cut-through gully to the boundary off the bowling of Brunt in the 9th over before making her intentions clear by clearing the ropes off Nat Sciver in the 13th. There was no stopping Verma now.

Verma took the attack to Brunt after Tea cleared her front leg and clubbed the bowler back over her head for a four and followed that with a late cut past gully to the boundary. She recorded a half-century on debut off just 83 deliveries and notched up a hundred-run opening wicket stand with Mandhana - only the fourth in the history of women’s Test cricket for India and the first in 22 years!

Punches off the back foot, heave over mid-on and delectable late cuts to the third-man boundary - Verma fell four runs short of what would have been a magnificent and deserving hundred in her first appearance for India in the format but she had shown enough of her class, talent and prowess with a smashing 96 off just 152 deliveries - an innings which included 13 fours and two sixes. She broke the Indian record for the highest partnership for the opening wicket in Test cricket adding 167 with Smriti Mandhana. Overall, it was the second-highest partnership for India Women for any wicket in history!

This time around Verma took the attack to Brunt - one of England’s all-time greats from the very first over itself. She whipped her through mid-wicket for a boundary before taking two more off her bowling in the third over and not even sparing Shrubsole in the fourth. India was under pressure but Verma was not in the mood to surrender.

Although she lost her opening partner Mandhana early in the second innings, Verma raced to her fifty off just 63 deliveries and became the first Indian woman to register twin fifties in her debut innings and the youngest overall. She was finally dismissed for 63 off 83 deliveries smashing 11 fours and a six in her innings. Verma, by playing the way she did, gave India a fighting chance to save the match as runs were at a premium and as important as playing out overs in the third innings.  By scoring quickly, Verma ensured that England had to score that many when they came out to chase in the fourth innings. She negated the new ball and inspired the middle and lower-order to come up with match-saving performances for the country.

More than anything else, the sheer audacity of a 17-year-old to attempt and succeed with such destructive stroke-play in her debut innings in alien conditions in England set her performances apart in Bristol.

The young sensation has already made a name for herself in T20I cricket where she has scored 617 runs in 22 matches at a stunning strike rate of 148.31. She was the highest scorer of the T20I series against South Africa aggregating 130 runs in the three matches at a strike rate of 156.63.

Verma has the unique ability to score a high proportion of her runs in boundaries - no batter in the world has hit more sixes than her 29 in T20I cricket since Verma’s debut in September 2019. She was also the highest run-getter for India in the World T20 in Australia in 2020 where she scored 163 runs in 5 innings at a strike rate of 158.25 playing a pivotal role with the bat in taking India to the final. Verma’s destructive game earned her a chance to play in the Hundred in the UK and the WBBL in Australia.

Verma has worked hard at improving her game practicing against the Haryana men’s team where the likes of Harshal Patel and Mohit Sharma bowled at speeds in excess of 140 km per hour to her. This helped her improve her back foot game which was her weakness early in her career - the dramatic change could be seen over her two innings in Bristol as she punched the England bowlers confidently staying upright. Verma also worked relentlessly at practicing the pull-facing 150 short-pitched deliveries at a stretch in the nets.

Verma has begun her Test career with a bang at Bristol. Now she needs to continue and consistently produce these performances for India at the top of the order. She has the talent and ability to walk in the footsteps of the great opener the Indian men’s cricket team unearthed in 2002.

Shafali Verma is an Indian cricketer (Batswoman). Shafali Verma plays for the India women’s national cricket team. In the year 2019, at the age of just 15, Shafali became the youngest cricketer to play in a women’s Twenty20 International match for India. In June 2021, the cricketer became the youngest player, female or male, to represent India in all three T20, ODI, and Test formats of international cricket. Shafali is very active on social media and always shares her beautiful, charming, travel, life events images, and videos on her Instagram account, where she has 211k followers.

Shafali Verma was born and raised in Rohtak, Haryana. She did her schooling at Mandeep Senior Secondary School, Rohtak, Haryana. Her education is 9th Standard. In the year 2020, she is going to appear for her 10th standard exams. Shafali’s father, Sanjeev Verma took her to the local ground for practice and rewarded her with Rs 5 for each six. Shafali’s father also wanted to become a cricketer at a young age, but due to a lack of opportunities and help, her father Sanjeev could not fulfill his dream.

Shafali Verma has a Stunning figure and she is 162 cm tall which is 5 feet 4 inches. She has a keen interest to maintain her body fitness her weight is 50 kg. Shafali Verma is very health conscious she always takes care of her looks and appearance. She visits the gym regularly and her figure measurement is 33-24-34 she has attractive Black hair and Black eyes.

Shafali Verma was born on 28th January 2004 (Wednesday) in Rohtak, Haryana, India, in a middle-class Hindu family. Her father’s name is Sanjeev Verma and her mother’s name is Praveen Bala. Shafali also has an elder brother named Sahil Verma. Talking about Shafali’s love life, currently, she is unmarried and not dating anyone as she is focusing on her career.

Prior to international cricket, she played for Velocity in the Women’s T20 Challenge in which she scored 34 off 31 balls. In September 2019, the cricketer was chosen in India’s women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) squad for the series against the South Africa women’s cricket team. Shafali made his WT20I debut for India at the age of only 15 against South Africa on 24th September 2019. She was the youngest player to play for India in a T20I match, and in November 2019, against the West Indies, became India’s youngest ever fifty in international cricket.

She scored 158 runs in five matches against West Indies and was adjudged the Player of the Series. In January 2020, Shafali was picked in India’s squad for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia women’s cricket team and was awarded a central contract by The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Ahead of the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, she was ranked as the number one batsman in women’s T20I cricket.

In May 2021, the cricketer was picked in India’s Test and Women’s One Day International (WODI) squads for the series against the England women’s cricket team. Verma made his Test debut for India on 16 June 2021, scoring 96 runs in his first Test innings against England. The Test match ended in a draw and Verma has adjudged the player of the match after scoring 159 runs in his two innings. Verma made her Women’s ODI debut for India against England on 27th June 2021.

Real Name Shafali Verma
Nickname Shafali
Profession Indian Cricketer (Batswoman)
Debut T20-24th September 2019 vs South Africa

ODI-27th June 2021 vs England

Test- 16th June 2021 vs England

Language Known Hindi & English
Date Of Birth 28th January 2004 (Wednesday)
Age (as of 2021) 17 Years
Hobbies Traveling, Playing Cricket, Listening to Music, Watching Movies
Birthplace Rohtak, Haryana, India
Hometown Rohtak, Haryana, India
Nationality Indian
Religion Hinduism
Star Sign/ Zodiac Sign Aquarius
Jersey Number 17 (India)
State Team Haryana
Coach Ashwani Kumar
Batting Style Right-handed
Bowling Style Right-arm off-break
Favorite Shots Straight Drive

Step out and hit

Records Youngest woman for India to score a half-century in international cricket

The youngest woman to play for India in a T20I match

The youngest player, male or female, to represent India in all three formats of international cricket

Height in Centimeters 162 cm
In Meters 1.62 m
In Feet & Inches 5′ 4″
Weight in Kilograms 50 kg
Weight in Pounds 110 lbs
Figure Measurement (approx.) 33-24-34
Eye Color Black
Hair Color Black
Father Sanjeev Verma
Mother Praveen Bala
Sister None
Brother Sahil Verma (Elder)
Marital Status Unmarried
Affairs/Boyfriends Not Known
School Mandeep Senior Secondary School, Rohtak, Haryana
College/University None
Educational Qualification 9th Standard

In the year 2020, Shafali is going to appear for her 10th standard exams.

Batsman Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli 
Wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (M.S. Dhoni)
Food Not Known
Food Habit Non-Vegetarian
Film Not Known
Color Black, White, Blue, Grey
Sport Cricket, Badminton
Holiday Destination Goa, London, Dubai
Car Collection Not Known
Salary (approx.) INR 10 Lakhs (BCCI Grade C contract)
Net Worth (approx.) $50 Million

Shafali Verma at Instagram-@shafalisverma17

Shafali Verma at Twitter –@TheShafaliVerma 

ShafaliVerma at Facebook-@TheShafaliVerma