Shikha Pandey, who was born on May 12, 1989, in Ramagundam, Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana), began her professional cricket career by playing for Goa at the local level. Shikha’s consistency on the domestic circuit, with the bat and the ball, quickly earned her a place in the national team. On March 9, 2014, she made her international debut against England in a T20I match. She made her ODI and Test debuts a few months later and quickly established herself as an important member of the Indian team.
In the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020, the all-rounder displayed remarkable form and was crucial in India’s run to the finals. On the occasion of Shikha’s 33rd birthday, we take a look back at her career thus far and share some lesser-known facts about the all-rounder.
An engineering student
Shikha’s passion for cricket was never enough to distract her from her studies. Shikha chose engineering after a strong academic record in school and passed with flying colours before following cricket professionally.
An Indian Air Force Officer
Shikha was recruited for the Indian Air Force during her final year of engineering school, where she rose to the rank of Squadron Leader.
First Goan cricketer to play for India
Shikha is the first woman cricketer from Goa to represent India.
Only the second player from Goa to play for India
Shikha is the first player from Goa to play for an Indian national team, following Dilip Sardesai. She is also the first cricketer from the Goa Cricket Association to represent India.
First Indian women cricketer to pick a 3-wicket
Shikha became the first Indian woman cricketer to take three wickets and score a half-century in the same match against South Africa on November 26, 2014. Shikha concluded her 10-over performance with three wickets for 19 runs and returned to lead India to victory with a 56-ball 59.