16-year-old Shafali Verma on Sunday broke a world record even before the first ball of India vs Australia Women's T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. At 16 years and 40 days, Shafali Verma became the youngest cricketer to feature in any World Cup final (including men's cricket).
The record was previously held by West Indian women's cricket Shaquana Quintyne when she played the ODI World Cup final in 2013. She was 17 years and 45 days old.
In men's cricket, the record belongs to Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir. He was 17 years and 69 days old when Pakistan played the T20 World Cup final against Australia in 2009.
Shafali Verma is slated to open the batting for India women with Smriti Mandhana in the big final against Australia Women on Sunday. But she will have to wait for her chance to bat as Australia captain Mag Lanning won the toss and opted to bat first.
Shafali has been in tremendous form in this T20 World Cup. With 167 runs in only 4 matches, she is India's leading run-scorer. Her blitz in the current Women's T20 World Cup made her the youngest to attain the No. 1 spot in the ICC rankings for batters in T20Is.
Verma was one of India's key weapons even in the group stage encounter against Australia. She hit Australia's premier fast bowler Megan Chutt for 16 runs in an over to gave India flying start. India had ended on the winning side in that match.
"I just hate playing India - they've got the wood over me," Megan Schutt was quoted as saying by the official ICC website ahead of the IND W vs AUS W World Cup final. "Smriti and Shefali have got me covered. That six Shafali hit me for in the tri-series was probably the biggest one I've ever been hit for," she said.