'It was tough seeing Shafali Verma in tears' - Brett Lee on the 16-year-old crying after losing the final

‘It was tough seeing Shafali Verma in tears’ – Brett Lee on the 16-year-old crying after losing the final

Lee further encouraged Team India that this is just the beginning of something better for them.

Shafali Verma and Brett Lee
Shafali Verma and Brett Lee. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Indian opener Shafali Verma took the advantage of the big stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 and showed what she was capable of when she took apart bowling lineups in the tournament. She made 163 runs in 5 matches at a strike rate of over 158 and the highest score of 47. Unfortunately, she couldn’t fire in the finals as India was chasing 185 to win.

India crumbled under the pressure of playing a final in front of almost 87,000 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and lost by 85 runs, sending the players and fans into a stream of tears and heartbreak. One of the most distraught figures was that of 16-year-old Shafali, who hid her face in her jersey and was later consoled by captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and other teammates.

‘I really felt for Shafali Verma at the end’: Brett Lee

One of the greatest fast bowlers ever produced by Australia, and 2003 World Cup winner, Brett Lee was moved to see the teenage batting sensation break down during Indian team’s collapse and then during the post-match presentation. He mentioned that he really felt for the youngster, who had done so well in the league stages, only to fail when the things mattered the most.

“I really felt for Shafali Verma at th  e end, it was tough seeing her in tears but she should be very proud of the way she’s performed in Australia. To come out here and face your first tournament head-on is a testament to her talent and mental strength, and she’s only going to get better from here.

She’ll learn from this experience and come back stronger. Moments like this can define you in a positive way…Don’t be surprised to see her put a big score on the Aussies the next time they play,” Lee wrote in his column for the ICC.

He further encouraged Team India that this is just the beginning of something better for them. He said that it was a disappointing night for them, given that they had no experience playing in a final, that too in front of a big crowd like the MCG. But he said that the team will learn from this experience and will be ready when the time comes next time.

“They’d never played in a Final before and we saw in Melbourne how vital that experience is, it takes a long time to get settled and by the time they did, unfortunately, the game was gone. Playing in front of a crowd like that takes plenty of getting used to so they’ll be better for it,” he added.

Lee mentioned that he was reminded of the 2003 World Cup final, when Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting, and Damien Martyn took the game away from India in first innings itself. He praised the way Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy attacked the Indian bowling and put their team an advantage early on.