Shikha Pandey Biography :
Age – 30 years
Height – 168 cm
Weight – 60 kg
Place of Birth – Karimnagar, Telengana (then Andhra Pradesh)
Education – Degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering
College – Electronics and Electrical Engineering
Father’s Name – Subash Pandey
Father’s Occupation – Teacher of Hindi in Kendriya Vidyalaya, Goa
Alternate Profession – Air Traffic Controller
Net Worth – $73 Million
Marital Status – Unmarried
Zodiac Sign – Taurus
Shikha Pandey’s life is the not the normal stories of female cricketers we hear often. She was not the girl who desperately wanted to play cricket but her family would not allow her to. Instead, she was the girl who was always very much engrossed in her studies.
It was her father, Subash Pandey, who gifted her a plastic bat when she was just 5 years of age. Since then, Shikha always had a liking for cricket. But never did she imagine that she would become a cricketer one day. Born in Andhra Pradesh, her family shifted to Goa when she was very young.
Pandey was always brilliant in the academics. In her free time, one can bet without any worry that Pandey will be reading a book. The bibliophile always got good grades to boast of. She got more than 90% in both her secondary and higher secondary examinations.
With most of the students of her school coming from families working in the army, Pandey’s school organized a lecture on the Indian Air Force. It came at a time when Pandey was deciding on her higher studies. She was so engrossed in the idea of joining the Air Force, that cricket subtly took a back seat.
She devoted all of her time to her dream. In order to facilitate that, she enrolled for a degree in Electronics and Electrical Engineering from the Goa College of Engineering. Just as she did in her school, Pandey was getting good grades in engineering as well.
All of this while, Pandey was very focused on her dream of working for the Indian Air Force. It was only after she had graduated, that she thought of taking a year off and try out her luck in cricket. She got selected for the Goa side, and played brilliantly for them.
Her performances caught the attention of many, and most importantly of former Indian cricketer Surekha Bhandare. She told Pandey’s father of her potential of representing the Indian side. Hearing this, his father encouraged her to pursue cricket.
During this while, she grabbed the attention of another former Indian cricketer Purnima Rao. Pandey soon found herself in the Board President XI’s side. But during this time, she didn’t entirely stopped studying. Working for the Air Force was always her primary focus.
She appeared for the entrance exams, and cleared that as well with flying colours. She became an Air Traffic Controller in 2011. With support from the Air Force Sports Control Board, she has managed to juggle between her job as in the Air Force and that in the Indian team with great ease.
Pandey got her national call up 3 years after she fulfilled her first dream of joining the Air Force. She was selected for a T20I match against Bangladesh at Cox’s Bazar. In that game, Pandey not only conceded just 14 runs in 4 overs but also took the wicket of opener Shamima Sultana.
Her ODI debut came around half-a-year later, against England at Scarborough. This time, however, she failed to take a wicket. Her Test debut was also against England, at Wormsley. In that game, Pandey took 3 wickets and also scored 31 runs.
Back in 2014, Pandey became the first female cricketer from India and score a half-century and take 3 wickets in the same match. She achieved this against South Africa. She is also the first female cricketer from Goa to represent India. Pandey is also a recipient of the Dilip Sardesai Award for Sporting Excellence.
In 52 ODIs, Pandey has taken 73 wickets. She has also maintained a terrific economy rate of under 4 runs per over. In the shortest format of the game, Pandey has 29 wickets in 45 matches, at an economy rate of just over 7 runs per over. She has also picked up 4 wickets in 2 Test matches. She has also scored 507 runs in ODIs and 187 runs in T20Is. Pandey has two international 4-wicket hauls to her name.