IND vs AUS: Shafali, Richa available for T20Is until U-19 camp begins, says Harmanpreet

The camp will be held from December 19 to 24 in Bengaluru, and even though Harmanpreet did not specify, it is believed that both will miss out on the last T20I against Australia on December 20.

India women’s team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur during a press conference in Mumbai ahead of the Australia T20Is.

India women’s team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur during a press conference in Mumbai ahead of the Australia T20Is. | Photo Credit: AFP

The camp will be held from December 19 to 24 in Bengaluru, and even though Harmanpreet did not specify, it is believed that both will miss out on the last T20I against Australia on December 20.

India senior women’s team captain Harmanpreet Kaur confirmed that both Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh will be joining the India U-19 camp ahead of the World Cup, and hence may not be available for the entire duration of the senior team’s five-match T20I series against Australia, beginning on Friday.

As first reported by  Sportstar, earlier this week, the camp will be held from December 19 to 24 in Bengaluru, and even though Harmanpreet did not specify, it is believed that both will miss out on the last T20I against Australia on December 20.

“The U-19 camp will start after a few days and for Richa and Shafali, this tournament (against Australia) is important. They are part of the U-19 World Cup, but before that if they get to play against Australia, it will boost their confidence,” Harmanpreet said on Thursday.

“Till the time they join the camp, they will be available for the matches against Australia and once the camp starts, they will join in as that’s very important because Shafali is going to lead,” the skipper said. 

Ahead of the inaugural edition of the ICC event, the India U-19 team will play a five-match T20 series against South Africa between December 27 and January 4 next year followed by a couple of warm-up games.

With the Neetu David-led selection committee naming Shafali as the captain of the U-19 team, the team management and the Board believe that it is important for both to get enough game time with the U-19 side, so that they can get into the groove before the tournament begins on January 14 next year.

As per the guidelines by the International Cricket Council (ICC), both Shafali and Richa are eligible to feature in the U-19 World Cups, but ever since the U-19 players started training earlier this year, neither Richa nor Shafali were part of any of the camps or tournaments as they both were busy with their international commitments.

India is placed in Group D alongside South Africa, UAE and Scotland. The top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six round, where teams will be pooled into two groups of six.

The top two teams from each group will then progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on January 27 at JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom. The final will be held at the same venue on January 29.

The senior women’s team, led by Harmanpreet, will also be in South Africa around the same time and will be involved in a Tri-series. However, with the dates clashing with the U-19 event, both Shafali and Richa will give that Tri-series a miss. 

“When we will play against South Africa, Shafali and Richa won’t be available as they will be busy with U-19 World Cup. For that, we have other players who will come in and join,” Harmanpreet said.

Free entry for fans

The BCCI has decided to keep a free entry for the fans during the T20I series against Australia, which begins at the DY Patil Stadium on Friday. Fans need to collect their free tickets from the DY Patil University before the match starts. The entire series will be played under the lights and will begin at 7 PM IST.

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