At just 17, Verma, who in 2019 became India’s youngest ever women’s T20 international, is widely considered the best batting talent in the world and currently sits atop the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings.
Yesterday she scored a maiden ODI half-century with a mature knock of 56 as India upset the might Australian team, snapping a 26-game win streak.
Verma is expected to form a lethal combination with Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ash Gardner at the top of the order for the Sixers, giving the team the most exciting top four in WBBL history.
She will also enter the world’s premier women’s domestic tournament with having a good time at the front of her mind.
“This is a very good opportunity for me and my goal is to just enjoy myself, to make some new friends and have fun,” Verma said.
“I want to play WBBL and back myself and just believe in myself.”
In June this year, the right-hander became the youngest player, male or female, to represent India in all three formats of international cricket before she debuted for the Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred under Sixers’ Head Coach Ben Sawyer.
“Shafali is very impressive. She’s such a talent and she’s fearless,” Sawyer said.
“She hits to different areas of the field and plays shots that are different to the other three girls in that top four.
“The experience I had with her in Birmingham was that she wants to learn, she wants to get better and she wants to grow as a player and a person.”
Not to be overshadowed by her teenage teammate, left-arm orthodox spinner Yadav arrives at the Sixers with a burgeoning resume of her own and sits 11th on the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings.
Now 21, Yadav was one of the discoveries of the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20, finishing as the joint-leading wicket-taker for India in the tournament, with eight dismissals in five matches.
Sawyer was equally exuberant about welcoming Yadav to the Sixers.
“Radha brings a skillset that we have never had at the Sixers and that’s very exciting,” he said.
“I think a left-arm ortho bowler is so important in the WBBL and having one who is world class is such a great opportunity for this team.
“She has also batted in the middle of the order for India so she is handy with the bat too.”
Yadav said she was looking forward to making her WBBL debut alongside Verma, noting the tournament had been very aspirational as she rose through the ranks in India.
“Lots of young Indian girls want to play in the WBBL,” Yadav said.
“It is a very good standard and I am so happy to be able to play for the Sixers this year.”
The Sixers begin their WBBL|07 campaign in the season opener against the Melbourne Stars on Thursday, October 14 from 7:40pm AEDT, at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.
Sixers fans can catch all the action LIVE on Channel 7, Fox Cricket and Kayo, with awesome behind the scenes content across our social channels.
Sydney Sixers WBBL|07 Squad
Head Coach: Ben Sawyer
Contracted for WBBL|07: Ellyse Perry (C), Jade Allen, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Emma Hughes, Matilda Lugg, Angela Reakes, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Shafali Verma (IND), Radha Yadav (IND)