Sachin Tendulkar’s last Ranji Trophy game inspired little Shafali Verma to take up the game. Nobody would have expected her to break Tendulkar’s record which had remained unmatched for thirty years. Check out this excerpt from our story this week from Haryana!

In the dusty, small town of Rohtak, Haryana, girls don’t play sports like boys, or with them. ‘Girls can get hurt,’ everybody says. 

Where young girls train to make perfect round rotis and knit sweaters, Shafali Verma dressed up like a boy, in jersey and trackpants, with her hair cut short, to chase her passion for cricket against all odds. 

It all started when Sachin Tendulkar was playing his last Ranji Trophy match near her home town. Her father took his son and two daughters to watch the match. Shafali was nine. 

With the heads in front of her blocking her view, she couldn’t get a clear glimpse of the Master Blaster. But as the crowd roared every time Sachin hit the ball, a silent dream was born in Shafali’s heart. She wanted to wear the blue jersey, represent Team India and win matches for her country. 

Shafali’s father had wanted to be a cricketer too. When his dreams didn’t materialize, he decided to coach his son, Sahil, to become a national player. Little did he imagine that it would be his daughter who would fulfil his dream. 

How did Shafali go from a simple small town girl to a cricket superstar? Continue reading this story as part of #AroundIndiaIn30Days for free on 4th August, 2021 here. 


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