With the merit of academic success riding on her shoulders since a very young age, the passion to represent her country continued to stir in her beginning right from her childhood, where even though her endearing love towards cricket kept her glued to the telly most of the time, a lecture at school inspired her towards a different path.
Shikha Pandey was born in Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh and just five when her father, a cricket enthusiast himself, bought her a bat, never imagining that the young girl would transform into a National cricketer herself.
Her earliest cricketing memories were from Goa, where her family shifted in 1997. At just 15 years old, she became the first player affiliated with the state board to represent India. Even though her sporting passion took a backseat as she pursued engineering, she took it up again in her second year, juggling sports and studies to make ends meet. She joined the Indian Air Force in 2012 as an Air Traffic Controller, and two years later, received her national call-up.
Now identified as Squadron Leader cum Cricket World Cup representative, Shikha Pandey is living her life’s dream. With stellar performances since her debut against Bangladesh in 2014, she has come a far way, far since she rejected offers from three reputed MNCs to continue her cricketing dream, now choosing to make her life a multi-tasking phenomenon.
Recently partaking in the T20 World Cup held in Australia, she was also fecilitated by the Indian Air Force, owing to her stunning display in the tournament.
“Chase your dreams for glory,” said Pandey in an interview, and well, her accomplishments have glorified and evidenced her own statement, proving that once she chose her path, she owned it.