From Delhi’s Sonnet Cricket Club to top run-scorer in ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup 2023: Story of Shweta Sehrawat. Shweta scored 297 runs from 7 games at an average of 99.00.
Shweta Sehrawat, remember the name, the 18-year-old cricketer is not going anywhere; she has written her name with golden letters in the history of ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup. With her fearless batting, she has been able to create footprints in the cricketing world and it is pretty safe to say a new star is born!
Sehrawat was top run-scorer in ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup
The opening batter was the leading run-scorer in the U-19 T20 World Cup. Playing in all seven matches for India U-19 Women, she scored 297 runs at a strike rate of close to 140. In the Women's U-19 Challenger Trophy and Women's Quadrangular U-19 T20 series, she was the highest run-getter in both tournaments. In U-19 T20 Challenger Trophy, she scored 163 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 111.64, while in the Women's Quadrangular U-19 T20 series, she scored 164 runs at a strike rate of 151.85.
During the whole T20 World Cup, she carried India’s batting lineup on her shoulders. In her debut match against South Africa, Sehrawat played an impressive knock of 92* off 57. She batted fearlessly and scored 20 fours with a strike rate of 161.4. She continued to wreak havoc on bowlers in subsequent group matches as she smashed 74* against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 31* against Scotland.
Sehrawat got dismissed by a bowler for the first time in the tournament against Australia in the Super Six stage. She scored 21 runs in 29 balls with a strike rate of 72.41, which was her lowest strike rate in this tournament. Her knock in the semi-final against New Zealand is another profound example of her breathtaking performance and showed that she can lead the team to victories single-handedly. She smashed 61*in 45 balls and had a strike rate of above 135. Out of 61 runs, she scored 40 runs with the help of boundaries. However, in the finals against England, she missed bringing her top performance to the table. She lost her wicket on a personal score of just five.
The right-handed batter smacked three fifties in the tournament and maintained a magnificent batting average of 99. In total, she hit 52 boundaries of which 50 were fours and she also hit two sixes at the mega event in South Africa.
Sehrawat learnt the game at Delhi’s Sonnet Cricket Club
Sehrawat was born on February 26, 2004, to Seema and Sanjay, who hail from South Delhi. They have two daughters and a son. The daughters took up the sport while the son didn’t show any interest in sports. They enrolled their eldest daughter at a cricket academy near their residence. Mother Seema used to take her eldest daughter Swati for daily practice, and her youngest daughter Shweta used to accompany her to the academy.
Shweta often accompanied her elder sister Swati to the cricket academy started by legendary coach Tarak Sinha, the Sonnet Cricket Club. Seeing others train at the academy, she would pick up bats and copy their moves. She would insist on playing with them as she was too young to be allowed to play. When Swati was shifted to a boys’ cricket academy in Vasant Kunj, the coach asked one of them to bowl at Shweta with a tennis ball; she hit the ball straight down the ground. For a seven-year-old to hit the ball so hard against the U-14 boys was something that nobody could ignore. The very next day, she got her own kit, and her cricketing journey took flight. Eventually, Swati gave up cricket to focus on academics.
For a few months, she kept on training at the cricket academy at Vasant Kunj in Delhi. At the age of 12, she participated in Delhi’s senior women’s trials, and boom! She was selected in the top 30. Subsequently, Shweta sealed a place in the U-16 team of Delhi and scored her first U-16 fifty against Haryana. Soon, Shweta was included in Delhi’s U-19 women’s team, and then made her way to the Under-19 India Women squad.
It’s not only cricket that she has tried or excelled in. She was good in many sports, and she single-handedly helped her school to win the inter-zonal volleyball championships. She was also good at badminton and did skating for a bit.
Inspired by Harmanpreet’s 171*, Sehrawat idolises Mandhana & Kohli
Her interest in cricket peaked after watching a women’s T20 match between India and Pakistan at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi in 2016. Harmanpreet Kaur’s 171 not out against Australia in World Cup 2017 semi-final inspired her to be a cricketer. She started following every match on TV and idolises Smriti Mandhana and Virat Kohli.
Her career took a turn for the better when she gave her all-round performance to defeat the India Women U-19 captain Shafali Verma’s team Haryana by scoring fifty runs after coming at the seventh position. She was promoted up in the batting order subsequently.
To concentrate on her cricket career, she chose humanities after her class X boards, as her parents' only condition was that she needed to complete higher secondary education, but she wants to complete her graduation. She wrote an email to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) explaining her non-availability due to her class XII board exams which were scheduled during the same period as when the NCA camps were going on. NCA head VVS Laxman made an exception for her and asked her to join later.
The day is not very far when Shweta Sehrawat might find a place in the senior India team. After a brilliant performance in the U-19 T20 World Cup, it would be interesting to see how her career takes flight from here. As there is an upcoming Women’s IPL, it is sure that all five teams would like to have her onboard.
A magnificent career has just started!