Isani Vaghela is an aspiring all-rounder representing the USA at the Under-19 and Senior Women’s cricket levels. She recently participated in the Caribbean Premier League’s Inaugural Women’s T20 tournament. She relished playing in the tournament, including her USA teammates, Geetika Kodali and Snigdha Paul. Isani’s brother, Vastal Vaghela made his debut for the USA Senior Men’s team in 2021.
Where and how did you get involved with cricket? Please tell us a bit about yourself. (Such as where you were born and where in the USA you currently reside).
I was born in the Bay Area in California, and I’ve lived there my whole life. I started playing cricket when I was about ten years old. I used to watch my brother’s cricket games every weekend, and one day I picked up a ball and decided to give it a shot. I ended up enjoying it and continued with the sport.
How important is this tournament (ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup) to you?
The upcoming Under-19 Women’s Cricket World Cup is exciting and very important. I think it’s an excellent opportunity for all of us to showcase our talent.
What is needed to attract more female cricketers in the USA?
There should be more local leagues and games to attract more players. More intra regional and regional programs would help create more interest.
What are your plans for a possible professional cricket career?
I hope to help the USA women’s cricket team grow more popular, play against other cricketing nations, and progress in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers. I hope to play in more domestic T20 tournaments. I participated in the Women’s CPL and got to meet and learn from other professional cricketers, and I would like to do that again.
Who are the people you’ve most enjoyed speaking to and learning the game from so far?
My coach has always taught me a lot, and I enjoy learning from him. Also, it’s been great to be around Coach Shivnarine Chanderpaul and learn about the game from him. I’ve always been around my brother and dad while talking about cricket, and I learned a lot from them.
What milestones do you want to achieve in cricket?
I want to play in domestic T20 cricket leagues and someday in a Women’s World Cup match.
How do you spend your time away from cricket?
I recently started playing tennis for fun with my brother and dad in my free time.
If you weren’t playing cricket, what other sport would you have been playing?
I haven’t played any other sports besides cricket, but if I didn’t, I think I would have tried other sports.
Is there any other domestic or international player that you model your game after?
I’ve always looked up to India’s Fatima Sana and Harmanpreet Kaur. I like how they go about their game.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
I would describe myself in three words – Motivated, passionate, and easy-going.