The selection of Shafali is a big boost for the female game in Haryana: Anirudh Chaudhry
NEW DELHI: Yuzvendra Chahal & Mohit Sharma The national team was satisfactory for him, but BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudhry he feels happier for the 15-year-old Haryana schoolgirl Shafali Verma The entry into the Indian women's team.
The diminutive Haryana-girl was picked in India's Twenty squad for the upcoming home T20 Internationals against South Africa following her good performance in the Women's T20 challenge earlier & at the age-group level this year.
"When Yuzi or Mohit did well for India in World Cups it gave me immense satisfaction but I was a bit more chuffed when I learnt about Shafali's selection," the BCCI treasurer said.
"It's a fulfilling thought that a girl from Haryana at the age of 15 will be wearing senior national colours. My elder daughter is 11 years old & come to think of it, Shafali is 15. So for me, it's more like how a parent feels," said Chaudhry, a former secretary in Haryana Cricket Association.
In fact the BCCI treasurer is happy that he could recommend Shafali to a Rohtak academy few years back.
"It was three years back & I happened to be at the ground when Shafali was playing a trial game. I saw her strokes, she must have been 12 or 12-and-a-half then. I recommended someone to put her into proper academy in Rohtak. But it's her immense hardwork & talent that has got her here," Chaudhry fondly recollected.
In fact, Shafali is the youngest player to represent the country since the age protocol was established, he said.
He said that it was not exactly an easy navigation for the development of women's cricket in Haryana.
"Women's cricket got a sense of structure in 2006 when it came under the aegis of BCCI . I remember as the joint secretary & later as the secretary of HCA, I had a fight to put a system in place.
"Now Haryana has a different social milieu & I had to work within a certain paradigm, keeping sentiments in mind. It was a different challenge, but now we have the same facilities for women's cricketers as we have for men," Chaudhry said.
He said that if some impending obstacles are removed, the first cricket academy for women in Haryana will be a reality in the near future.
Seamer Mansi Joshi is actually the first Haryana cricket woman to play for India, but now she moved to Uttarakhand. Now we have Shafali.
"What I liked about her family was the fact that the father never came to coaches & interfered in her training. She has the talent & she proved that in women's IPL. I can only hope she plays for India for the longest time," he said.