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ICC Women's World Cup 2017: Agra girl Deepti Sharma – rise of a star, from bottom to top
Deepti Sharma scored 78 vital runs off 110 balls in a crucial match of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. She also took one wicket for 46 runs in her spell of 10 overs. But obvious, she was chosen as player of the match.

Although she doesn't have the best of communication skills as she's not fluent in English, but her responsible, mature batting; bowling; and fielding speak volumes about her talent.

She is almost certainly going to play a lead role in Indian women's cricket for years to come, as she's now just 19 years and 316 days old. Deepti is a very simple and down-to-earth person who does not believe in showing off. She selectively stays away from social media and rather prefers to watch videos of the game to sharpen her skills. Deepti is a big fan of cricketer Suresh Raina.

Her father, Shri Bhagwan Sharma, a retired chief booking supervisor with Indian Railways, supported her in following her dream and instructed her brother Sumit (a medium-pacer who has represented Uttar Pradesh in the Under-22 CK Nayudu Trophy) to take her for practice.

Narrating Deepti's simplicity, her mother, Smt Sushila, a retired government school principal, recalls that her distractions as a teenager were few and her demands were even fewer. Deepti got her first smartphone when she was 18.

On May 15, 2017, on the eve of the first qualifier of IPL 2017, while batting against South Africa, 19-year old Deepti Sharma scored 188 runs, the second-highest score in women's ODIs. She also became the proud recipient of the best woman cricketer 2015-16 (junior) award.

Deepti's entry into the world of professional cricket is no less than a fairytale. One fine day, while sitting on the stairs of Ekalavya Sports Stadium at her hometown Agra, watching her brother play, Deepti saw a ball come rolling along the ground towards her. On being asked to return the ball, Deepti took a casual aim and threw back the ball which hit the stumps. To her luck, this throw of hers caught the attention of Hemlata Kala, former India batswoman and current chairperson of the BCCI

women's selection panel, who was present at the adjacent net. She immediately summoned Sumit to enquire who this "little boy" was and whether he played cricket

regularly. Sumit explained to Kala that the boy was in fact his sister who sported a "boy-cut" hairdo and that she had never come to a cricket field previously.

Replying to Sumit, Kala said, "Let her play. This kid will represent India someday." The rest as they say is history. Deepti first left her footprint on the cricket field during the 2010 trials for the state's U-19 side by scoring 65 and picking up three wickets with her medium pace. Later, in 2012, she scored 114 against Vidarbha at Kanpur, which further helped her in cementing her place in the senior squad at the tender age 15.

In fact, Deepti is an excellent all-rounder who happens to be an effective offspinner, opening left-handed batswoman, and an agile fielder at any position – whether close-in or on the boundary. She is a cool and composed cricketer but very focused at the same time. During the home series against Sri Lanka, her excellent spell of 6 for 20 helped India complete a clean sweep over Sri Lanka. She proudly finished the series as the highest wicket-taker, with 12 wickets at an average of 5.25, and two Player-of-the-Match awards in the three-match series.

Let us have a look at her achievements. In her 25 ODIs so far, Deepti has a pretty good batting average of 46.61. She has got 1 century and six half-centuries to her credit. Like wise, in these 25 ODIs, she has taken 35 wickets with an economy rate of 3.20. Her best bowling figures are 6 for 20. Also, she has taken 9 catches in these 25 matches.

Coincidentally, in Hindi, Deepti means "the last ray of hope when all hope is lost".

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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