India’s Olympic gold medal winner Neeraj Chopra met the Indian U19 Women’s cricket team ahead of their World Cup final against England Women. The javelin thrower not only gave an inspirational talk to the players, but also wore an Indian jersey to show his support for the young girls.
India’s U19 Women’s team are taking on England in the final of the inaugural edition of the ICC Under 19 Women’s T20 World Cup at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom.
While India beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the first semi-final to book their place in the summit clash, England got the better of Australia by three runs in the other knockout clash, successfully defending a total of 99 runs.
Sharing his words of wisdom for the India U19 squad ahead of the mega-final, Chopra urged the players not to take any undue pressure and said:
“If you take pressure now, you will keep feeling it as you move ahead as well. Try to enjoy the occasion and give you 100 percent.”
Chopra further gave the players two crucial pieces of advice. He told the young cricketers:
“You might end up becoming celebrities, but never forget the reason behind why you took up the sport. Also, always remember your background.”
After a light-hearted interaction between the players and the champion javelin thrower, the Indian team presented Chopra with a Team India jersey.
The 25-year-old track and field athlete also donned Indian blue to show his support for the India U19 girls ahead of the World Cup final.
“The only birthday gift I want is the trophy” – India U19 women’s captain Shafali Verma
India’s U19 captain Shafali Verma celebrated her 19th birthday on Saturday, January 28, a day before the World Cup final against England Women.
Speaking on the special occasion, she said that the only birthday gift she wants is to win the World Cup trophy. Speaking to Cricinfo, Shafali said:
“When I joined up with this U-19 team, I told them the only birthday gift I want is the trophy. I’m not asking for much. No real preparation. Just going to enjoy the day. It would have been different if I was at home.”
The Indian captain asserted that the mood in the camp is positive, adding that she was everyone in the team to give their 100 percent in the final. Shafali stated:
“Yes, it’s a very good feeling to be in the final. Just want everyone to give their 100 percent. I had spoken after the match against Sri Lanka about us having trouble sleeping (after losing to Australia) but we’ve been able to execute everything we discussed after that game. There’s a good mood in the camp.”
India’s only loss in the U19 World Cup came when they went down to Australia Women by seven wickets in the Super 6 stage.