Want to make a mark in Women’s T20 Challenge, says Chandigarh-based fast bowler Kashvee
Chandigarh Chandigarh-based fast bowler Kashvee Gautam, the first Indian woman cricketer to have taken a perfect 10-wicket haul, will be playing for the Trailblazers in the Women’s T-20 Challenge to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between November 4 and 9.
Seven months ago, Gautam, then aged 16, had made ripples in the women’s one-day tournament being held in Andhra Pradesh where she took 10 wickets against the home team in a plate group game at Kadapa. Taking note of her feat, BCCI’s newly appointed selection panel led by Neetu David selected Gautam to play for the Smriti Mandhana-led Trailblazers. Two other teams — Supernovas and Velocity — will also participate in the T20 challenge in Sharjah.
Ask Gautam how she feels and she says, “Life has been strange over the last six months. I only started training a fortnight ago. I was excited to play in the women’s U-19 World Cup that was to be held in January 2021 in Bangladesh. However, it was postponed in the wake of the pandemic. Now, the Almighty has given me another chance to exhibit my skill among senior women. I have been following the Indian Premier League matches. I aim to do well by my team and also make a mark.”
Gautam, who said this before leaving for Mumbai ahead of the tournament, had scored 350 runs and scalped 66 wickets for Chandigarh in plate group one-day U-19 and U-23 tournaments last season.
Apart from Kashvee, Chandigarh’s Taniya Bhatia will also be seen in action during the tournament. She will play for the Supernovas led by Harmanpreet Kaur. Meanwhile, Mohali-based Harleen Deol will also be part of the Trailblazers.
Gautam eyes Indian team berth
While Gautam was with Punjab, she seldom got a chance to represent the state in different age categories but once Chandigarh got BCCI affiliation, Gautam was unstoppable.
“I would not get many chances to play for Punjab. When Chandigarh became a BCCI unit, it was a big thing. I gave my best shot and at the end of the season, I was peaking at the right time. Using pace well along with variations will be key in UAE. Shafali Varma did well in the last edition. I, too, want to make an impression and make the Indian team berth,” said Gautam, who trains with Coach Nagesh Gupta at Government Model Senior Secondary School cricket academy in Sector 26.
She had missed bagging a second perfect 10 in the same tournament against Sikkim by a single wicket. “Things were clicking for me. I bowled aggressively and bagged nine wickets. That is in the past now. The plan will be to get used to the UAE heat ahead of the matches and bowl well,” says the Class-11 student, who idolises England’s Jofra Archer.
Praising Gautam, Chandigarh senior women team coach and former first-class cricketer Khyati Gulani said, “She is talented and electric on the field. India needs such a multi-talented cricketer. She can bat well and is a superb fielder. India lacks in the fast-bowling department, Kashvee can be groomed well and included in the national team. She will be an asset. She should make most of the UAE experience.”
Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj will be captains of Supernovas,and Velocity, respectively.
The 2020 Women’s T20 Challenge will begin with last year’s finalist Supernovas taking on Velocity in the opening game.