Indian cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur on her love for cricket, Indian jersey, ICC World T20 and more

Harmanpreet Kaur is having a great time at the moment. The cricketer from Moga, Punjab, who turned 27 on Tuesday, played a crucial role in India’s recent wins over Australia’s and Sri Lanka’s women’s team. An all-rounder, who bats in the middle-order and bowls medium-fast, has been a regular member of team’s limited-overs squads, a role which she enjoys and prefers being a naturally attacking cricketer. Harmanpreet recently spoke to mid-day on a wide range of issues related to her career and cricket in general. Here are the excerpts:

On taking up cricket

Harmanpreet’s father (Harmander Singh) was a club cricketer, so the game ran into her veins. As a child, she used to watch him play. It was her father, who though belonged to a small and conservative place Moga in Punjab where women’s cricket was not played, but still encouraged her to play the sport and take it up as a career. Harmanpreet, who started playing the game at the age of six, gives the entire credit of her success to him.

On regrets and most cherished achievement

Harmanpreet counts her debut against Pakistan a day before she turned 20 as her most cherished achievement. It was the day she got her India jersey, a fact that instilled lot of pride in her. On having any regret in life, the cricketer says she found it difficult staying away from her mother (Satwinder Kaur) and playing professional cricket at the age of 17. That was emotionally taxing for her.

On India jersey

As a young kid, Harmanpreet was very fond of Indian cricket team’s jersey. Before her debut, she used to get Indian team’s jerseys with the names of Indian male cricketers on it from her father, friends and extended family. But a determined Harmanpreet never wore them, as it was her dream to wear an India jersey with her own name on it.

On ICC World T20 2016

The Women’s ICC World Twenty20 will be starting on March 15, and Harmanpreet is a part of Indian women’s squad for the tournament. It will be played in India simultaneously with the men’s ICC World T20. Harmanpreet hopes to win the title for India, which has never won the ICC silverware. Going by the team’s as well as her own recent performances against Australia and Sri Lanka, a country eagerly awaits a good outing for the hosts and hopes that it emerges as the winners.AX