Batting in the shortest T20I format is no less than an art and to master it with consistency and at a good pace is just icing on the cake. There’s one such talent and that’s Esha Oza who plays international cricket for United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is now the fastest player to get to 1000 T20I runs in women’s international cricket. 31 innings is all the 23 y/o has taken to achieve this great feat in her international career as she’s gone on to score 1027 runs at an average of 36.67 and a strike rate of 124.3.
Esha Oza has surpassed big names in Charlotte Edwards, Sarah Taylor, Stafanie Taylor, Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Mithali Raj and many more to top the list of fastest to 1000 T20I runs. Oza got to this landmark when she scored a brilliant 115 off 67 balls against Qatar in the Asian Cricket Council Women’s T20 Championship in Malaysia. She’s played a key role in helping UAE qualify for this year’s Asia Cup.
The 23 y/o in an interview with Khaleej Times credited India’s domestic cricket quoting, “I played a couple of years of domestic cricket in Mumbai. That helped me improve my game a lot.”
She further continued in detail, “In 2019 I moved to India for cricket. When I went there we had selection matches going on. I was there for the under 23 selection games and in one of the matches, I got 101 not out and three wickets as well. So that’s how I got into the Mumbai side as well. I played two tournaments for the senior Mumbai team in T20s and 50 overs games and one tournament for the under 23 team. Those matches helped my cricket because I got to play with and against a lot of Indian international players and faced international bowlers like Pooja Vastrakar and Mansi Joshi. We had a game against the Railways, so I got to see how Mithali Raj goes on about her game.”
The UAE U19 women’s and senior Women’s teams play a lot against boys teams and Esha Oza feels playing against boys has helped them. In the same interview, she quoted, “We play against under 15 and under 17 boys. Obviously, the level of boys is very different compared to where women’s cricket is. So we know that we might not do too well, we might end up losing the games badly, but I think that pushed us to do much better. So when we go out to play against women’s teams, it looks much easier and we are more in control of the game.”
Female Cricket interviews Esha Oza
It’s a little less known fact that Esha also holds the record for the most runs in an innings in a T20I game and that was a stellar show of 158* off 71 balls. The powering knock had come against Bahrain Women early this year in March. The 158* saw the opener smash 22 fours and 7 sixes, she’d batted with a strike rate of 222. Heroic stuff. She’s also a part-time bowler so, an impressively complete package that hopefully in near will be witnessed more at big stage events in world cricket.
We wish Isha Oza all the best in her future cricket endeavors.
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