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16-year-old Parshavi Chopra from Greater Noida has been selected to play in the Indian U-19 Women’s Cricket Team for the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand. The Right Arm Leg Spinner will be a part of the Indian Squad for the five-match T20I series to be held in Mumbai from November 27 to December 6.

Parshavi, who has been a student at the Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence in Greater Noida since she was 10 years old, could not believe it at first when she heard the news of her selection. She said“I never thought I would make it to the U-19 Team at such a young age! So, initially, it was hard for me to believe the news. It is only when I saw the list of team members on the BCCI website and subsequently started receiving congratulatory calls that I could finally believe it. I am extremely happy and I am determined to perform well in the upcoming series.”

Congratulating Parshavi on this achievement, cricketing icon and the Founder of Yuvraj Singh Centres of Excellence Mr Yuvraj Singh said, “I congratulate Parshavi and wish her all the best for the upcoming series. At YSCE, we are committed to working alongside young talented cricketers and helping them bring out their best. Our team works tirelessly with all the students on their physical and mental strengthening so as to help them improve their game. It is great to see how Parshavi has worked hard to hone her skills and made use of all the opportunities she received. We are really proud of her and happy to see her achieve her goals.”

Parshavi started her cricketing journey as a medium pacer. But when she started training at Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence, her coach Vishal Bhatia suggested that she should try to bowl a leg spin. “I started watching Shane Warne’s videos and thought that leg spinning is the toughest but the most interesting form of bowling. That’s when I switched to being a leg spinner,” Parshavi recalled.

Recounting how she was unable to make it to the Uttar Pradesh State U-16 Team when she first went for the trials at the age of 12 because she was underage according to rules, Parshavi said, “It was my father’s dream to get the Indian jersey and play for the country and I really wanted to fulfil his dream. After being appreciated by the selectors in the first attempt but being unable to make it to the team, I decided to work harder and devote all my time and attention to practicing cricket. There were several ups and downs during this period but Bhatia Sir kept me motivated. There were times when I was bowling well but was unable to take wickets. That was very frustrating. That’s when my coach taught me how to focus on variations, how to read the batsman and his technique properly and how to bowl differently to each batsman. This guidance and a better understanding of the mindset of the batsmen helped me improve my technique considerably. The hard work eventually paid off and when I went back for the trials next year, I got selected to play for U.P. U-16 for the Chhattisgarh Tour.”

There was no looking back for Parshavi after that. She was declared the best bowler in the U-16 Chhattisgarh Tour. Thereafter, she got selected for the U-19 Camp. Parshavi made a national record in a match against Baroda where she bowled 6 maiden overs with 3 wickets. In 2019, she played for the U.P. Team in the U-19 Nationals and till the semi-finals, Parshavi was the second highest wicket taker in the country. Unfortunately, the tournament could not be completed because of COVID. Owing to her excellent performance, Parshavi was selected for the National Cricket Academy. Thereafter, she made it to the high-performance camp where she was the second highest wicket taker and also scored 150 runs.

Parshavi’s next major goal is to make it to the Senior India Team and she is willing to put extra hard to make that happen. She said, “I plan to perform really well in the U-19 World Cup next year and then in the IPL, which will increase my chances of being selected for the Senior India Team."

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