Sushma Verma

Sushma Verma

Player Bio

Sushma Verma, a name that resonates with grit, determination, and exceptional talent in the realm of Indian women's cricket. Born on 5th November 1992 in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, Sushma has carved a niche for herself as a wicket-keeper and right-handed batter. Her journey from a small town to representing India on the international stage is nothing short of inspiring.

Early Life and Entry into Cricket

Sushma's early life was a blend of conventional expectations and unconventional choices. Her father, Bhopal Singh Verma, initially wanted her to stay close to home. However, Sushma had other plans. She enrolled at Portmore Government Model School in Shimla and began her sporting journey. Interestingly, cricket was not her first love. She flirted with multiple sports like volleyball, handball, and badminton, even representing her state in these games. But as fate would have it, cricket found its way into her life, and there was no looking back.

Domestic Career Highlights

Sushma's domestic career took off when she started playing for the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. Under her captaincy, the Himachal team clinched the runner-up position at the Under-19 All-India women's tournament in 2011. This achievement was a watershed moment, not just for Sushma but for Himachal Pradesh as well, as she became the first cricketer from the state, male or female, to represent India in international cricket.

However, domestic cricket had its limitations in terms of opportunities. To further her career, Sushma began playing for the Railways team, sharing the dressing room with stalwarts like Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Punam Raut. Her performances caught the eye of selectors, and soon she was donning the blue jersey for India.

In recent years, she has been a part of the Gujarat Giants in the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023, showcasing her skills both behind the stumps and with the bat. Her domestic career statistics are a testament to her talent, with an average of 9.65 in One Day Internationals and a strike rate of 57.78.

Sushma Verma's journey from Shimla to the international cricket arena is a compelling narrative of passion, hard work, and the audacity to dream big. Her domestic career laid the foundation for her international exploits, making her one of the most reliable wicket-keepers in Indian women's cricket today.

In the next sections, we will delve deeper into her international career, achievements, and the impact she has had on the sport, particularly in inspiring the next generation of female cricketers.

International Debut and Career

Sushma Verma's international debut was a momentous occasion, not just for her but for the entire cricketing community of Himachal Pradesh. She made her T20 International debut against Bangladesh on 5th April 2013. However, it was her One Day International (ODI) debut against South Africa on 24th November 2014 that truly marked her arrival on the global stage.

Over the years, Sushma has been a constant in the Indian women's cricket team, participating in 43 ODIs and 19 T20Is. Her ODI career has been particularly noteworthy, with her donning the gloves in crucial matches and tournaments. She was part of the Indian squad that reached the finals of the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, a tournament that was a turning point for women's cricket in India. Although the team lost to England by a narrow margin, Sushma's contributions behind the stumps were highly praised.

Her last ODI appearance was against South Africa on 17th March 2021, but her influence on the game has been indelible. With 31 catches and 12 stumpings in ODIs, she has proven her mettle as a reliable wicket-keeper. In T20Is, she has 19 catches and 6 stumpings to her name, showcasing her agility and quick reflexes.

Notable Achievements and Milestones

Sushma Verma's career is adorned with several milestones that set her apart. One of her most remarkable achievements came in the form of a unique record for the most stumpings in an innings in Women's One Day Internationals. This feat underscores her exceptional skills as a wicket-keeper.

Another highlight of her career was her role in the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup. Her performance in the tournament not only solidified her place in the team but also caught the attention of the nation. Following the World Cup, she was offered the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police by the then Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Virbhadra Singh, as a recognition of her contributions to the sport.

Playing Style and Strengths

Sushma Verma's playing style is a blend of traditional wicket-keeping skills and modern-day flair. Her right-handed batting style is versatile, allowing her to adapt to different match situations. Although her batting average in ODIs stands at 9.65, she has shown glimpses of her ability to anchor the innings when required. Her top score in ODIs is 41, indicating her potential to contribute valuable runs down the order.

As a wicket-keeper, her agility and quick reflexes are her biggest assets. She has a knack for reading the game, anticipating the bowler's moves, and making split-second decisions that often turn the tide of the match. Her record for the most stumpings in an innings in Women's ODIs is a testament to her exceptional skills behind the stumps.

Her strength also lies in her mental toughness. The journey from a small town to representing India at the international level comes with its own set of challenges, but Sushma has navigated them with poise and determination. Her ability to perform under pressure, especially in high-stakes matches, adds an extra layer of reliability to her game.

Sushma Verma is not just a cricketer; she is a symbol of perseverance, talent, and the endless possibilities that come with hard work. Her international career may have had its ups and downs, but her impact on Indian women's cricket is undeniable. From her debut to her notable achievements and unique playing style, Sushma Verma has etched her name in the annals of cricketing history. As she continues to play in domestic leagues like the Women's Premier League, one can only anticipate what other milestones she will achieve in the years to come.

The impact of Sushma Verma on women's cricket extends far beyond her individual performances and statistics. She has been a trailblazer in many ways, breaking down barriers and setting new standards for aspiring cricketers, especially those from smaller towns and cities. Her journey from Shimla to the international cricket stage serves as an inspiration for countless young girls who dream of making it big in the sport.

Sushma's presence in the Indian women's cricket team during pivotal moments, such as the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, has been instrumental in bringing attention to the women's game in a country where cricket is often seen through a male-centric lens. The team's performance in that tournament, and Sushma's role in it, led to a surge in interest in women's cricket. This has had a ripple effect on domestic cricket as well, with more young girls taking up the sport seriously.

Moreover, her achievements have not just been celebrated in the cricketing community but have also been acknowledged by the government. The offer for the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police by the Himachal Pradesh government is a testament to how sportspersons like Sushma are gradually being recognised and rewarded for their contributions.

Her impact is also evident in the increasing number of young talents emerging from Himachal Pradesh, inspired by her journey. She has become a role model for many, proving that with hard work, dedication, and the right opportunities, anyone can reach the pinnacle of success, irrespective of their background.

Sushma Verma's cricketing journey is a compelling narrative filled with highs and lows, challenges and triumphs. From her early days in Shimla to her rise in domestic cricket and her significant contributions on the international stage, Sushma has carved out a legacy that will be remembered for years to come. Her impact on women's cricket in India is immeasurable, inspiring a new generation of female cricketers to dream big and aim high. As she continues to play and contribute to the sport, the cricketing world eagerly awaits what other milestones and achievements are yet to come in her illustrious career.

When did Sushma Verma make her international debut?
Sushma Verma made her T20 International debut on 5th April 2013 against Bangladesh and her ODI debut on 24th November 2014 against South Africa.
What is Sushma Verma's role in the cricket team?
Sushma Verma is a wicket-keeper and a right-handed batter.
What is her most notable achievement in Women's ODIs?
She holds the record for the most stumpings in an innings in Women's One Day Internationals.
Was Sushma Verma part of the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup team?
Yes, she was part of the Indian team that reached the finals of the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup.
What is Sushma Verma's batting average in ODIs?
As of her last ODI, her batting average in One Day Internationals is 9.65.