[WATCH] Shafali Verma celebrates her birthday in presence of Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra

Shafali Verma offers a cake to Neeraj Chopra during her birthday celebration.
Shafali Verma offers a cake to Neeraj Chopra during her birthday celebration.

India women’s U-19 captain Shafali Verma celebrated her 19th birthday in the presence of her teammates and Olympic gold-medalist Neeraj Chopra ahead of the final against England slated to be played at Potchefstroom on the 29th of January (Sunday).

In a video shared by the ICC from their Instagram handle, Shafali can be seen cutting her birthday cake while her teammates sing in unison. Neeraj Chopra was also seen offering Shafali a piece of cake on her auspicious day.

During an interaction with Cricinfo before the final, Shafali expressed her feelings on the big day and said that she wants every girl to give 100 percent. She also revealed that the only birthday gift she can ask for from her team is the World Cup trophy.

Verma said:

"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."

She added:

"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 U-19 team has been on a roll and are on the verge of becoming the first women’s Indian team to win a major ICC trophy.

With history in the making, Shafali and co. will look to come out all guns blazing in the final and try and rise to the pedestal, which no Indian team has been able to achieve in the past.

India started off their T20 World Cup campaign with a resounding win against South Africa, which set the tone for their remarkable campaign. They followed it up with comprehensive victories against the UAE and Scotland before suffering a hiccup at the hands of Australia.

Shafali Verma will look to come back from her recent struggles in the final

Shafali Verma started off the tournament in blazing fashion but hasn’t been able to make an impact in her last three games. Shweta Sehrawat's form at the top of the order has been instrumental in India’s success in the tournament.

Shafali Verma is the leading run-getter in the tournament so far, with 292 runs in 6 games. The Indian spinners have weaved their magic and haven’t allowed the opposition batters to score runs in the middle overs.

Parshavi Chopra and Mannat Kashyap have been the pick of the Indian bowlers, with 9 and 8 wickets, respectively.

Neck-to-neck at the top 😮Shweta Sehrawat and Grace Scrivens are up against each tomorrow in the Women's #U19T20WorldCup final 👀Who will finish as the leading run-scorer?

Meanwhile, this World Cup has also been a dress rehearsal of sorts for the likes of Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh for the Women's T20 World Cup slated to be played in South Africa from next month (February).

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Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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