The exclusion of some quality players from India’s ICC Women’s World Cup squad has come as a surprise for many. Though the 15-members squad led by Mithali Raj consists of the finest cricketers from the country namely Jhulan Goswami, Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Poonam Yadav, and others, the omission of Jemimah Rodrigues, Shikha Pandey, Punam Raut, and some other popular names shocked many.
Disappointed by the exclusion, we did see Punam Raut expressing her displeasure yesterday in a tweet she posted on Twitter and so did Shikha Pandey in a blog post tweeted with a broken heart emoji.
While Punam mentioned her stats from 2021 in the message, Shikha talked about how cricket has been an integral part of her whole family and further about her ball in one of the T20Is last year which was termed as the ‘Ball of the Century’.
Sharing a conversation with her mother on her return back home after a tour, Pandey recalls how excited her family has been for cricket matches and how she personally used to have cricket commentary going on in the background while studying and how it has helped her in moving from the worries of the world to an enjoyable environment. She also talks about the days when just to make her parents satisfied when she wasn’t a part of the playing XI, how quickly she used to get on the field with drinks so that her parents could notice her before the broadcasters cut to the ads and of the matches where they came to watch her at least for the warm-ups if she wasn’t in the playing XI.
Shikha further talked about one of her deliveries in the very first over of the team’s bowling in the 2nd T20I of their tour to Australia. The ball that left the cricketing world puzzled was termed as the ‘Ball of the Century’ and went viral all across social media in a blink of an eye. In the blog the 32 years old shares that her family WhatsApp group has been flooded with photos and videos of that delivery and whenever a video related to it comes to the group, she goes on watching a video her sister made for her before that match that acted as a motivation for her during the game as well.
— Shikha Pandey (@shikhashauny) January 6, 2022
Sharing another instance with one of her coursemates who went on predicting what could have made the ball better instead of appreciating how good it was, Shikha questioned, “Everyone is a cricket pandit in India, aren’t they?”
The highlight of the blog was the statement by her society’s watchman who before Shikha left for Australia’s tour, said,
“Madam achcha Karna. Abhi tak toh nahi liya but Australia se aane ke baad selfie loonga.” (I have not taken a selfie with you till now, but shall for sure take one when you return back from Australia)
Shikha ended the blog with the hope that there is a lot more to achieve in this race to be the best and she would definitely go on to be the best.
“At the end of it all, I most certainly believe ‘THAT’ inswinger was how something / someone up there told me rather reminded me to NOT lose hope and have faith in my hard work. There is still so much more to dream and to achieve because I am a heavy dreamer….”
Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.