It was a childhood dream to represent India: T20 World Cup squad member Richa Ghosh

Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], Jan 13 (ANI): Richa Ghosh, India's T20 World Cup squad member, said it was her childhood dream to represent the national team.

The 16-year-old Siliguri girl will take her preparations for the maiden international cricket tournament, representing Indian women's team for the '2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup' in Australia in next month.

The opening batswoman stressed on more hard work especially when the matches will be played on the expected fast and bouncy pitches.

"My father has been my inspiration and since my childhood, it was my dream to represent the national team. I need to work harder when I will be playing for the country and the pitches in Australia are different from the Indian subcontinent, it is expected that the wickets are expected to be pacy and bouncy and playing in faster fields will be challenging, therefore I need to do more and more hard work's," Ghosh, the first woman cricketer from north Bengal, told ANI.

"I am feeling great for the selection in the World Cup squad. In the middle of Challengers' Trophy yesterday, I came to know that I have been selected in the Indian women's team for the T20 World Cup to be led by Harmanpreet Kaur," she added.

The class tenth student of Margaret (Sister Nivedita) English School, who wielded the willow at the age of five watching her father Manabendra Ghosh playing the game, idolises the cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar.

"She used to accompany me at the tender age when I used to go for the cricket coaching centre of Bagha Jatin Athletic Club. She started playing in the centre. I witnessed keen interest of cricket in her and she used to compete with me," said Manabendra Ghosh, father of Richa who played the cricket at the local level for years and currently is an umpire.

Asoke Bhattacharya, Mayor and MLA of Siliguri also felicitated Richa at her house and wished her for the best performance in future.

One of her cricket mates at the centre, Priyanka Kurmi said she was not surprised with the selection.

"We knew she would have been selected for the national squad in last year. She has been a very good bat. I wish her all the success," she said.

Later, Richa visited the coaching centre, interacted with her coaches and budding players.

India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Richa Ghosh, Tania Bhatia (wicket-keeper), Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Shikha Pandey, Pooja Vastrakar, Arundhati Reddy.

India will play their first game against host and defending champions Australia on the inaugural day of the ICC T20 World Cup, February 21. (ANI)