Deepti Sharma’s stocks keep rising higher and higher

On the evening of May 8, 2019 in Jaipur, Velocity were cruising in a meagre chase of 113 against Trailblazers, guided by Danielle Wyatt’s aggressive 46 on a slower track. Call it the Nelson jinx or Deepti Sharma’s now famous kill-them-with-smile attitude, the next seven balls threw the Velocity camp into panic. At 111/3 and having lost two of their most attacking batters – Wyatt caught by Deepti and Veda Krishnamurthy run out off successive deliveries – Velocity needed just two more in 18 balls. Easy still? Instead, Deepti clean bowled the next three batters in the space of five deliveries to, if not eventually clinch victory from the jaws of defeat for her team but, send a reminder of just how strong her comeback game is today. These are kind of performances that go on your CV irrespective of the result of the game.Trevor Griffin, the head coach of Western Storm in the Women’s Cricket Super League, was following the Women’s T20 Challenge action from back home. He soon got in touch with Smriti Mandhana with the idea of recruiting Deepti for the 2019 season. Deepti’s captain at Trailblazers, Mandhana passed on her teammate’s number and the coach and all-rounder struck a deal over a series of WhatsApp and email exchange. The fact that Mandhana will be reprising her role with the England franchise for a second successive season would play a part in Deepti’s decision making, for she had another offer to consider. Lancashire Thunder, who Harmanpreet Kaur played for in 2018, had also approached the 21-year-old, albeit ten days after Storm had already initiated talks. Deepti officially signed the dotted line during the month-long NCA camp in June.
“Absolutely! I just thought there’s a familiar face there. I’ll get some support with Smriti also being around. Smriti had been there last year so I thought it’s for the best,” Deepti told Cricbuzz of her decision to sign with Storm.Deepti’s maiden WSCL stint means the Indian representation at the UK-based league is set to double this season, with Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur reprising their roles for their respective franchises from last edition and Jemimah Rodrigues, earlier in the month, signing up with Yorkshire Diamonds. Just like Rodrigues, Deepti too will depart for the UK late on July 28, and will be available for the entire duration of the tournament.It is, however, not the first time Deepti’s name came up for deliberation in a foreign T20 league. For the previous two editions, her name was doing the rounds at the time of WBBL signings but she could get only as far as being on standby. It’s this wait that makes this WCSL stint even more special for the player from Agra. She called up her family first, and then her mentor – former India cricketer and selector, Rita Dey.It was under Dey’s guidance that Deepti decided to challenge herself by moving out of her comfort zone and switching her domestic team to Bengal, ahead of the 2017-18 season. Jhulan Goswami’s towering presence in that team.