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Women's Cricket

8-year gap and new jersey number- Devika Vaidya makes a comeback

All-rounder Devika Vaidya made a comeback to the Indian national T20 team after a gap of 8 years.

8-year gap and new jersey number- Devika Vaidya makes a comeback
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By

Pritish Raj

Updated: 9 Dec 2022 6:52 PM GMT

After a gap of 8 years and a change in the jersey number, Devika Vaidya's wait for representing India in T20 internationals again is over.

Devika who made her T20I debut way back in November 2014 against South Africa never played in this format for India again despite being on the bench in the 2018 T20 World Cup and making it to the side multiple times.

Devika played 9 ODIs in between this period scoring 169 runs and taking 6 wickets but she never had another shot at a T20 game.

For someone who made India's debut at the age of 17, eight years ago, Devika Vaidya has only 10 international caps across formats, and for very little fault of hers. She was supposed to make come back in March 2018 against Australia but she was diagnosed with Chikungunya and had to be replaced as India A captain just before the squad was due to be announced.

Although her hard work and grind of performing at the domestic level and leading India on A and emerging tours have finally paid off as she featured for India albeit in a losing cause.

Devika scored 25 runs off 24 balls and took the solitary wicket of Alyssa Healy in a 9-wicket drubbing by Australia.

What changed in 8 Years

A lot has changed since Devika last played a T20 game for India.

  • Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami are now retired cricketers and legends.
  • The swashbuckling Indian team opener Shafali Verma was a 10-year-old kid when Devika made her debut and now she is leading the batting lineup for India.
  • A fellow debutant and her Maharashtra teammate, Smriti Mandhana has gone on to become one of the best batters in the world and vice-captain of the Indian team.
  • A full-fledged Women's IPL is on the cards now.

But the most interesting of them all is her jersey number. As tweeted by former Indian cricketer Ananya Upendran, Devika's jersey on her debut was number 7 while Harmanpreet Kaur was sporting number 17.

8 years later, Indian captain, Harmanpreet Kaur is sporting number 7 so Devika chooses to take number 97 which eventually adds on to become 7 after simplification.

Nevertheless, Devika Vaidya exemplifies one story of never giving up and staying focused in tough times.

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