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Sports broadcaster Star Sports has launched a new campaign titled #TakeOnTheWorld featuring the journey of 16-year-old Shafali Verma, ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup set to begin Friday, February 21, at 1:30 pm IST.

#TakeOnTheWorld uses glimpses of Shafali’s childhood to bring alive her single minded-focus and passion to play the game she loved. Shafali knew very early in her life that she wanted to play for India and did everything in her capacity to train hard and make most of the opportunities that came by. The film captures one such moment of her life when she seized the day and played for her local team with a bunch of boys; standing in for her sick brother. Fuelled by her sheer grit and determination, Shafali took on the challenge and trained with boys in her local club. Her father and coaches from that time groomed her to become the confident cricketer she is today. No mean feat for a young 10-year old girl hailing from Rohtak, Haryana. Shafali’s journey wasn’t easy, but when she came through the ranks, it was well worth it. At 15, she went on to break her idol, Sachin Tendulkar’s 30-year-old record by becoming the youngest Indian to ever score a half century in international cricket.

Rohit Sharma, #MenInBlue Vice-Captain, Limited overs, launched the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup campaign #TakeOnTheWorld on his handle: It’s time for ICC Women’s #T20WorldCup and there’s no stopping the Women in Blue, as they #TakeOnTheWorld. Kyunki naam wahi karte hain jo koi mauka nahi chhodte! Cheer for Team India, and watch them Live starting February 21, on Star Sports.

Star Sports caught up with Shafali before she left for Australia, where she said, “My father has been a strong pillar of support, he is a great player and he trained and coached me too — I am what I am because of my father. My dream was to open for India and make my father proud; that’s a dream we both had seen together. I am extremely excited to represent India at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which is led by Harmanpreet Kaur, who I believe is a strong and aggressive player who keeps the team motivated. I believe in any T20 match, the openers play a very crucial role — if they give a good start, the team can build on a total that is challenging enough for the opponent.”

In an interview with Star Sports, her father Sanjeev Verma said, “When she was about eight years old, she played cricket with a tennis ball. She was amazed at how the crowd cheered for Sachin Tendulkar while he played for Ranji at Lahli — she wanted to be like him since then. Shafali is a hardworking kid — she travelled 15-20 kms everyday by cycle for her practice. I only wish and pray she wins the World Cup for the country.”

On February 21, not just India but the world will witness the #WomenInBlue fight for glory on cricket’s biggest stage, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020. Team India were already in Australia playing a T20 tri-series with Australia and England. Shafali was exceptional in the second last game against Australia, scoring 49 in 28 balls with the help of eight fours and a six at a strike rate of 175, helping her team win by seven wickets.

India are part of Group A in the tournament and will be facing hosts and defending champions Australia in the World Cup opener on February 21. ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2020 will broadcast exclusively on the Star Sports Network and Hotstar.

The 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup will be broadcast Live and exclusively on Star Sports 2, Star Sports 2 HD, Star Sports Hindi, Star Sports Hindi HD, Star Sports Tamil, Star Sports Telugu and Star Sports Kannada.