Shefali Verma, the captain of the India U-19 team, reportedly requested that her colleagues win the ICC U-19 T20 World Cup as a “birthday gift” for her. On January 28, 2023, Shafali Verma turns 19 in South Africa alongside her squad as they prepare for the crucial World Cup final on Sunday, January 29. India and England will compete for the coveted championship.
“When I joined up with this U-19 team, I told them the only birthday gift I want is the trophy. I’m not asking for much. No real preparation. Just going to enjoy the day. It would have been different if I was at home,” the just-turned-19-year-old said as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
The fiery right-handed batter’s message to her teammates was crystal clear: win the World Cup. She said that because they had all worked so hard to get where they are, they wouldn’t want to leave South Africa without anything. She talked about the maturity of a leader who is developing with each victory.
The opening statement went on to say that the girls were deeply wounded by the loss to Australia and that they had a restless night as a result. However, they progressively and quickly gained confidence in their ability to advance further in the competition. As a result, they played superbly against New Zealand in the first semi-final, ending the “Kiwi jinx” in ICC competitions.
Verma noted that although England has a sizable number of all-rounders, India is prepared for the task. “Yes, it’s a very good feeling to be in the final. Just want everyone to give their 100 percent. I had spoken after the match against Sri Lanka about us having trouble sleeping (after losing to Australia) but we’ve been able to execute everything we discussed after that game. There’s a good mood in the camp. From what I’ve seen, they have a good bunch of all-rounders.
We have to continue backing our strengths, we don’t need to try anything different. They’ve made it to the final, so obviously, they have been doing the right things. We need to keep backing our strengths and enjoy each other’s performances. Keep backing each other on the field,” she added.
She gave Coach Nooshin Al Khadeer credit for fostering a positive environment for the players and clearly defining their roles. “The credit goes to Nooshin maÃ¡m (sic). You want a coach to let the players know what their roles are and she’s defined the roles clearly to everyone. You know a day in advance if you’re playing. So, you have time to prepare. We enjoy each other’s company a lot. I’d say I’ve played a small role in creating the environment. Shouldn’t praise oneself too much for it,” she mentioned.