What happens when you meet your idol everyone likens you to follow the footsteps of? Just ask Shafali Verma, the youngest member of the Indian women cricket team, who fulfilled her childhood fantasy of meeting her idol Sachin Tendulkar recently in Melbourne.
The 16-year-old even captured the memorable moment in a picture with Tendulkar before uploading it on her social media with a heart-touching post.
“The reason I took up this game was because of Sachin sir. My whole family has not just idolised but literally worshipped him. Today is a special day for me that I got to meet my childhood hero. It was a dream come true for me,” Shafali captioned her post.
Last year, Shafali was widely touted as the ‘Next Tendulkar’ after being called up for the national T20 squad as a replacement for Mithali Raj when she was just 15-year-old.
The youngster then followed it up by breaking Tendulkar’s long-standing record of being the youngest Indian to hit a half-century in international cricket when she hit a smoking 73 off just 49 balls against the West Indies.
The batswoman is in sublime form this year as well. In the last game of the ongoing Tri-Nation T20 series, Verma hit a 28-ball 49 knock to guide India to a 7 wicket victory against Australia.
She will be playing in the series’ last game against the same opponents before featuring at the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup as Harmanpreet Kaur & Co. look to secure their first-ever World T20 title.
Australia: Alyssa Healy (wk), Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Nicola Carey, Megan Schutt, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Tayla Vlaeminck, Erin Burns, Georgia Wareham, Annabel Sutherland.
India: Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Harleen Deol, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy, Nuzhat Parween, Poonam Yadav, Pooja Vastrakar, Richa Ghosh.