Updated March 7th, 2024 at 20:31 IST

Shabnam Shakil, youngest to play WPL, debuts with a bang for Gujarat Giants

Shabnam, who hails from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, has tasted success already, being part of the team that won the U-19 T20 World Cup in 2023.

Shabnam Shakil | Image:WPL
Advertisement

More often than not, at age 16, one is part of the very storied high-school life. For Shabnam Shakil, however, among the memories she will cherish is making her debut for the Adani Sportsline-owned Gujarat Giants in the WPL. What made it special was that she contributed to a record-breaking winning cause.

Gujarat Giants put on a massive 199/5, asking Royal Challengers Bangalore to chase down 200, the highest target so far in the WPL this season. The Giants went on to win by 19 runs; Shabnam bowled 3 overs, giving away 27 runs.

Advertisement

Looking back at her first game, Shabnam said, “I had the support of captain Beth Mooney and the rest of my team, so that helped me play with confidence. I am happy the day went well.”

Shabnam, who hails from Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, has tasted success already, being part of the team that won the U-19 T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2023. “My first delivery in WPL is something I will always remember. It was a big moment for me. I got an edge, and even though it wasn’t a catch for the keeper, it was a good start to the over, which felt nice,” she said.

Advertisement

After taking Sophie Devine by surprise off her first delivery, Shabnam went on to maintain control during her spell, keeping both the New Zealander and Ellyse Perry in check. “Devine and Perry have so much experience, as much as my age probably, and I feel happy to have been able to bowl to them. I was able to bowl with confidence and be myself. I wasn’t thinking it was Perry or Devine at the crease, I just thought of them as batters in the middle,” the 16-year-old said.

Shabnam, who joined Gujarat Giants as a 15-year-old, has impressed everyone in the squad. Speaking after the Giants’ win against RCB, skipper Beth said, “She has lots of energy and is always smiling during training. But she has got that bit of aggression and bowled really well; you wouldn’t know it’s her first game. We thought let’s bring her in and see what she can do; it was a really impressive performance from someone so young.”

Advertisement

Published March 7th, 2024 at 20:31 IST