Shebani Bhaskar returning to India, hopes to return for nationals in July

and will not play here again until the nationals in New York in early July if her high school in India gives her permission. shebani_bhaskar

Shebani, 16, told in an interview that she is beginning her final year in high school in Chennai, India, and had to return.

She also said she planned to return to New York and compete in the nationals in early July and, hopefully, win selection in the US senior team to compete in the World Cup qualifiers in Bangladesh later this year.

But before Shebani can play in the nationals she has to apply to her school in Chennai and get permission to leave. She is hopeful that the school will give her the green light to play in New York.

Last weekend Shebani, who has been based in Chicago, traveled 15 hours by car to New York to play for the Tri-State Lynx in a match against the New Jersey Phoenix in Brooklyn, New York.

She scored five runs in six minutes before she was run out. “I placed the ball on the off side and I thought the fielder would not get it, but she did.”

While she was disappointed with her low score, she impressed US selector Sew Shivnarine and women’s coach Linden Fraser with her wicketkeeping.

Shebani took one catch and did not allow a bye, which followed up a stumping and no byes two weeks ago in the match against The Warriors.

Last weekend the Tri-State Lynx had a comfortable win over the New Jersey Phoenix scoring 6/326 off 45 overs and dismissing Phoenix for 80 in 26.2 overs.

Goordial-John scored 96 and grabbed 5 for 5 vs. New Jersey Phoenix (Photo left: Bryan Vandenberg/ICC)

US senior team bat Indomatie Goordial-John top scored with 96 and was backed up with a 42 from Candacy Atkins and Triholder Marshall’s 41.

The day belonged to Goordial-John, who also took 5/5 with her off spinners from just 4.2 overs.

“Yeah, it was a rewarding day,” she told in an interview. “I have been working very hard lately, changing my bowling run up with the help of coach Linden Fraser.”

Goordial-John said she was “very disappointed in not scoring a century because I batted for a very long time and had a few overs left.”

She was caught at square leg when she tried a pull shot. In 2007 she scored an unbeaten 100 in a local competition in the Caribbean.

So far this season Goordial-John has scored 47 and 96 and a five wicket haul. “I’m hitting the ball pretty well, I’m getting there,” she said.

Asked about the potential of Shebani, she said: “She is talented and I saw her ‘keeping for the first time at the weekend. She doesn’t look too bad. She is a pretty good striker of the ball and has pretty good technique.

“I think she has the ability and is ready to play international level at 16. I was 15 to 17 when I first played international.”

Shebani said she enjoyed her stint as a wicketkeeper with the Tri-State Lynx. “I will play where ever I am needed and have no preference,” she said. “”Wicketkeeping keeps you involved with every ball in the game.

Asked if she was ready for international cricket and to wear the US colors at the World Cup, she replied: “I would like to represent the US team. If I get the opportunity, I think (I am ready) so. I will definitely not let the team down.”

Shebani praised her coaches V. B. Chandraskar and Robin Singh in India for helping her grow as a player and Kalyan Miter in her formative years in Calcutta, India.

“You can always learn more about cricket. I think I can improve everywhere with coaching.” She said.

“I think I can improve in the areas involving patience and match temperament —- and not try to hit every ball. I have to learn how to translate practice to a match.”

Shebani is a student of the game and respects its history.

“The game means a lot to me. I enjoy playing. There is a lot of cricket in India and we are exposed to it. I also like the traditions of cricket,” she said.

Coach Linden Fraser said Shebani was ready for international cricket. “I was very impressed with her ‘keeping. She is technically correct in all areas. She stands up at the stumps to the spinners and takes the ball cleanly down the leg side.

“And that is not easy, but she makes it look easy.”

Shebani’s sister, Mena, 21, is a wicketkeeper and she will play with the Tri-State Lynx on June 1. She also hopes to be selected in the US team.

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