"I will never forget the welcome that I received at my home in Rohtak," says Shafali Verma
Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, India's swashbuckling opener Shafali Verma wants to get back to cricket as soon as possible and hopes that everything becomes fine soon.
The 16-year old who took the internet by storm thanks to her aggressive style of play during the recently concluded ICC Women's World T20 reckons that the last one month was pretty special for her.
"Not everyone is lucky to play in a World Cup with some of the best cricketers. I got the opportunity and that too at such a young age," Shafali expressed.
She further added, "I will never forget the welcome that I received at my home in Rohtak. There were dhols and music. My relatives received me with garlands and I felt pretty special. It was like a dream after a special tournament. I was eager to get back on the field, but now that is not possible due to the coronavirus outbreak."Shafali Verma
She was in the middle of her class 10 board exams when the Haryana government postponed it as a precaution in the fight against coronavirus. Since the exams are pushed ahead, in her free time she has been watching lots of movies. Apart from this, she is using this forced break to good avail as she can now recuperate fully from the strain that she caught in her right leg during the World T20.
Despite the cricket academy where the child prodigy practices are closed, for the time being, she continues to go for running and does other exercises that help her to remain fit.
"My daily routine normally involves taking four-five rounds of the ground, a short sprint and some leg exercises. It's mostly light stuff and I am taking it slowly," Verma averred.
"There are not too many people around when I go there and I can't even hit the ball in the nets. That's a bit frustrating. But in times like these, taking care of one's health is the primary concern. I am following the motto too. I often shadow practice at home with a tennis ball. For a batswoman, it's essential to maintain the rhythm and touch. It's very important that I don't get rusty. Nothing can substitute playing an actual game but one has to make the best out of a situation," she added.
One of the good things about this forced break is that Shafali is getting to spend some quality time with her family, especially with her younger sister, Nancy.
"My father was there in Australia (during the World Cup) and I can sense his pride when he talks about me to his friend," exclaimed Shafali.
If the cricket would have been on as expected, then the dashing opening bat would have been featuring in Senior One-Dayer Challenger Trophy starting in the coming week at the Motera Stadium, the world's largest cricket stadium. "I was pretty excited to play in that huge stadium but now I don't know when it will start. Even the BCCI office is shut. So, it's all wait-and-watch for me," said Shafali.Motera Stadium. Pic Credits: The Indian Express
With respect to the safety measures for coronavirus are, Verma is following Sachin Tendulkar's message. "Sachin sir tweeted recently to wash hands, maintain hygiene at home and workplace; I am following all that," she stated.
Credits: Abhishek Paul / Hindustan Times