Women's T20 Challenge: "I want to give my all if the opportunity comes," says Saika Ishaque

Saika Ishaque, who got drafted into the Trailblazers team in the Women's T20 Challenge says she is ready to do well for the team.

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Koushik Biswas
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BCCI announced three squads for the upcoming Women's T20 Challenge. Bengal left-arm spinner Saika Ishaque is drafted into the Trailblazers team for the tournament. She will play under Smriti Mandhana in the tournament. Saika is ready to give everything if the opportunity comes her away. She shared her thoughts in an exclusive interview with Sportz Point after getting selected for the Women's T20 Challenge.

12 international players across the globe have been drafted into three teams. So, the quality of the tournament will be top-notch and thus getting a chance in the playing eleven might be tough. Moreover, with only two matches in the tournament, it makes it tougher. Although, Saika is ready to embrace any opportunity that comes her way. "Look with the number of games I have played in my career till now, I feel my only job is to wait for the opportunities and do well for the team. Yes, the matches are fewer. But, you can only do your part and be ready," Saika said.

Read Also: Women's T20 Challenge: BCCI announces three squads for the tournament

Saika had done a decent job in the recently concluded Senior Women's T20 Tournament. But, she feels it was her spell against Punjab that got everyone's attention. She had got Taniya Bhatia and Harmanpreet Kaur in consecutive deliveries to turn the match Bengal's way. Although she could not complete her hat trick, it was enough to get her selected for India's prime Women's Tournament.

"I feel I bowled my best against Punjab and that got everyone's attention. Getting two Indian players out in consecutive balls was a confidence booster for me. Moreover, getting Harry di (Harmanpreet Kaur) on the first ball was the icing on the cake," the left-arm spinner added.

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Saika will be sharing the dressing room with current India player Rajeshwari Gayakwad. This makes her chances in the playing eleven a bit tougher. But, if captain Smriti Mandhana opts to go with two left-arm spinners in the team, Saika will surely be more than ready to roll her arm over. Not to forget both Rajeshwari Gayakwad and Saiqa Ishaque played together in the last year's Senior Women's One Day Challenger Trophy and ripped though opponents most of the time. Hence, there might be a chance that we see both the left armers doing the bulk of the bowling for Trailblazers.



After coming from the Senior Women's T20 Tournament, Saika worked a lot on her bowling with her coach and former Bengal cricketer Shiv Sagar Singh. Shiv Sagar being a left-arm spinner himself not just told her how to do it, he has shown her how to do it. "Sir and I worked a lot in the nets. Sir showed me where to bowl and how to plan for different situations. We worked on different aspects of my bowling. And, that really helped me get better and be prepared for this tournament," Saika added.

Saiqa Ishaque with the U-23 One Day Champions Trophy | Sportz Point

Saika Ishaque with the U-23 One Day Champions Trophy.

Read Also: Women's T20 Challenge 2022: Three-team tournament will be played between May 23 to May 28

Along with Saika, one of her Bengal teammates Richa Ghosh will also be playing for the Trailblazers in the Women's T20 Challenge. Saika feels having Richa on her side will help him as they know each other very well. "Yes, having someone known really helps. She knows my game and me very well. So I guess she will pass it on to other teammates and seniors which will help me more to get into the team's environment.

Besides her bowling, Saika is a gun fielder, which is a must in modern-day cricket. Thus, she feels it is very much important to contribute anyhow possible for the team. "Yes, the ground fielding and catching is quite something that I take pride in. Yet, each time I practice I try to be quicker. I feel if I can get quicker to ball, I can make that good chances to wickets for the team. That's the aim," Saika said.

Though everything seems to fall in place for her, Saika does not want to make it complicated. She feels she is ready for any chance that might come her way and she is ready to do anything to make her team win. "This is a huge opportunity for me to get back in the thick of things. So, I just want to do well for the team. If I can help my team win, I feel I will be doing enough for myself," she added further.

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