Mon, 06 Feb 2023

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], December 2 (ANI): Indian wicketkeeper-batter Sushma Verma has said that the Women's Indian Premier League (IPL) will give great exposure to the country's domestic cricket talent and being part of pressure situations while playing the league will help in improving Team India's results at international level.

The Women's Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to take place in 2023 after the 91st Annual General Meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) gave it a green signal in October.

Commenting on women's Indian team's lacklustre performances in knockout matches at ICC events, Verma said, "There is always a scope for improvement. This is a team that has won many extraordinary matches. You cannot win every game. This is how we take it. It is important if we are learning from our mistakes or not. IPL will play a big role. We will play alongside and compete with overseas players. We will get exposed to big, pressure situations where we are lacking. When we will conquer such situations in IPL, better results will be visible internationally. We have talented players who have not got the exposure at the international level," said Verma in an exclusive interview with ANI.

On the upcoming season of Women's IPL, the wicketkeeper-batter said that she is excited about it and so are the domestic players, who will benefit greatly due to a large number of matches, interaction and competition with overseas players and improved level of competition.

"It is gonna be beneficial. I am excited, everyone is, and domestic cricketers are. I have been a part of exhibition games (Women's T20 Challenge) for three seasons. I have played with overseas players and have learnt a lot. But the competition will improve, and games will increase. It will be better for domestic players, who have not got exposure till yet. Every state has 4-5 players who deserve to be in IPL, at big stages. It can also bring that change to Indian cricket where we are secure financially," she said.

On India's upcoming five-match series against Australia from December 9 onwards, the wicketkeeper-batter said that she is looking forward to it.

"The team is yet to be selected. I have done my job and delivered performances in domestic cricket. There are a lot of changes in the team. It is at home in Mumbai, If I get a chance, I am prepared for it," she added.

Questioned on whether it is a revenge series of sorts after India's loss to Australia in the final of Commonwealth Games 2022, Verma added, "As a player, the competitiveness and passion to win stays the same no matter what occasion or opponent. I do not think there is anything like that. We have lost to them in big matches. IPL is gonna happen and results will be visible when players will interact with overseas players. As a player or team, you want to win and compete well every day."Verma feels that an in-depth pool of talent will be established after a couple of seasons of the league.

On competition from players like Yastika Bhatia, Taaniya Bhatia, Richa Ghosh in the Indian team for the position of wicketkeeper-batter, Verma, managed by IOS Sports and Entertainment, said that competition keeps her on her toes.

"These players are younger than me, I will have to perform and work better than them in my batting, wicketkeeping and fitness. That is how I am taking it. That hustle is there. I am doing my part. There are a lot of things not in my control, but giving my best and following the right processes," she added.

On the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2023 in February, Verma said that the conditions are going to be different in South Africa and she is preparing for it.

"There is a lot of obstacles that I have to overcome and a bigger picture I have to think about. I am taking it one game, one day at a time. It was important for me to perform well this season. I am into the next phase after the first phase is over. I am prepared," she added.

This Himachal Pradesh player has produced fine performances this year. In the Senior Women's T20 Trophy this year, she played nine matches and scored 237 runs in seven innings at an average of 79.00, with a best of 68.

In the Senior women's Inter-Zonal T20 competition this year, she scored 186 runs in five matches at an average of 46.50, with a best score of 87. (ANI)

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