Rookie batswoman Richa Ghosh will soon be a part of the squad for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Monday. The cricketer from the hills side of Bengal is prepping for her maiden international cricket tour which starts on February 21.  She is now a member of the 15-member team India is sending to the World Cup that would be captained by Harmanpreet Kaur.

Key Takeaways:

  • Batswoman Richa Ghosh is going to be a new face in a 15-member India squad announced for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia, starting February 21. 
  • Bengal’s Richa Ghosh was also announced in a 16-member squad for a tri-series in Australia before the T20 World Cup.
  • Richa Ghosh and Shafali Verma are the two new batters to join the Indian squad.

Richa who hails from Siliguri is a new addition to the team along with 15-year-old Haryana schoolgirl Shafali Verma. Ghosh is also part of the 16-member squad for a tri-series in Australia before the T20 World Cup that starts on January 31.

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Who is Richa Ghosh?

Richa Ghosh earned a place in the national team after her recent performance at the women’s Challenger Trophy was widely appreciated. She scored an impressive 36 off 26 balls in one of the games with four boundaries and a six. She comes from Siliguri, a small town in the northern part of West Bengal. “I’m happy to get this opportunity. Batting is my strength. I will try to contribute as much as I can,” said the teenager to The New Indian Express.

Richa first made a name for herself by playing local tournaments in the outskirts of Kolkata. She idolises Sachin Tendulkar. “My first role model has always been my dad from whom I learnt cricket. Then it was Sachin Tendulkar, who will always remain my idol,” she said, The Hindu reported. She was influenced by her father, Manabendra Gh­osh, who played club-level cricket and then moved to umpiring. His passion inspired Richa and soon the kid and father realised her knack for the game.

Her six-hitting style is inspired by MS Dhoni. “I love the way he hits sixes and try the same. Whoever may be the bowler, when you have the bat, you can do anything,” she claimed.

Richa has been backed by Jhulan Goswami in Bengal team. India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha also hails from Siliguri. “Jhulan di always supported me in the team while I always got help from Wriddhi da. He remains busy but we speak on and off. I’m really grateful to them and to my coaches, the Cricket Association of Bengal for supporting me,” Richa added.

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Richa has an elder sister who is pursuing media science their mother remains bedridden. Her father Manabendra gave up his business in 2016 to take better care of Richa’s cricketing dream. “I had to give whatever time I had to her. I cannot open a business and shut it down temporarily when I was travelling. It takes 12-13 hours to reach Kolkata. If she is playing in any tournament in Kolkata, I quickly pack my bags. She is a small girl, we can’t leave her alone,” the father said.

Before going to the city, her father enrolled her at the local club. Seeing that she is the only girl in the club but fearlessly beating everyone, she was called for senior Bengal camp in 2012-13.

“Everything happened so fast that it’s difficult to realise. We are all shocked but it’s like a pleasant one,” the proud father said.

At 11, Richa ma­de it to the U-19 Bengal team. Eventually, she broke in­to the U-23 side and also the senior team when she was a little over 12. She was named Bengal cricketer of the year in 2018.

Feature Image Credit: The Indian Express

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