Brett Lee: T20 WC win could be ‘a major breakthrough’ for women’s cricket in India

“Victory would do so much for women’s cricket in a country that already adores the sport,” writes Lee in a column for the ICC.

“It’s staggering to believe she’s only 16 with the confidence she has in her own ability and the way she strikes the ball so cleanly.” - Brett Lee on Shafali Verma   -  PTI

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee feels an Indian victory in the Women’s T20 Word Cup final on Sunday could be a “start of a major breakthrough” for the women’s game in India. India and Australia will lock horns in the title clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“As an Australian, I’d love nothing more than for [Meg] Lanning’s team to do the job. But if India were to win the World Cup for the first time, victory would do so much for women’s cricket in a country that already adores the sport,” Lee wrote in a column for the ICC.

“This could be the start of a major breakthrough, particularly with the amount of talent that is coming through.”

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Lee wrote Australia will have to look for ways to counter the 16-year-old Shafali Verma. “In Shafali Verma, India boast one of the most talented players in the world and you feel that for Australia to win the game, dismissing her will likely be their first job. I’ve been so impressed with the opener — it’s staggering to believe she’s only 16 with the confidence she has in her own ability and the way she strikes the ball so cleanly. She’s such good fun to watch and I’m not sure the women’s game has seen anyone like her for such a long time,” Lee wrote.

‘More to come’

Shafali has been the star of the tournament, having amassed 161 runs at a strike rate of 161. She consistently provided India with solid starts. “To be the world’s best T20 batter already shows just how far she has progressed in such a short space of time and the experience in this tournament will hold her in good stead for years to come. Even with the way she’s played in Australia and her fearless brand of cricket, you still get the feeling she has more to come as well.”

He believed Shafali may have another big score awaiting her. “She’s got a big score in her locker and there’s probably no better place to do that than the MCG. Shafali is already a record breaker but if she can steer her side to their first Women’s T20 World Cup title at just 16, then the sky really is the limit for her career,” Lee wrote.

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