Harmanpreet and Shreyas make India proud

By Kersi Meher-Homji

In the current Kanpur Test against New Zealand Shreyas Iyer became the 16th Indian to score a century in his Test debut. His 105 elegant runs included 13 fours and two sixes. Much is expected from this 26 year-old. As the Test is still going on e-TIDU will report on this Test match early next week.

Now to another current hero of Indian cricket, all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur. She had a stunning season for Melbourne Renegade with both bat and ball in Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia this year.

She scored 399 runs for Melbourne Renegade this season at an average of 66.50 and a strike-rate of 135.25. She hit three match-winning half-centuries. In addition to being Renegades’ leading run-scorer, she was also their leading wicket-taker capturing 15 wickets at an economy rate of 7.46.

She was Player of the Match three times and polled 31 votes, as voted by the standing umpires after each match. She finished three votes clear of Perth Scorchers players Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine.

Aged 32, Harmanpreet has played for India from 2009 till now. She has captained India with success in recent years. Her idol is India’s dynamic opening batsman Virender Sehwag and believes in his motto “See ball, hit ball.”

She becomes the third overseas player to be named the WBBL’s Player of the Tournament after New Zealand duo Sophie Devine (twice) and Amy Satterthwaite. She hoped it was another stepping stone towards the establishment of the women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) in India in near future.

“I think we have been looking at this for a long time and I hope sooner this women’s IPL will also start and we will also invite overseas players over there so that they can also share their experience with our domestic players,” Harmanpreet said. “I think this is something we are really waiting for and I hope, you know, this will start.

“Performance is something which is in our hands and that’s what we have been doing and the rest of the things are totally dependent on BCCI and the Cricket Board. We can’t do something extra on that but we can only request and that’s what we have done for many years.

“They [BCCI] know better than us. They know when to do it and how to start and they are also thinking about that and I’m sure they will definitely come up with something for women’s cricket.”

Harmanpreet has been breaking ground for Indian women’s cricket ever since becoming the first Indian to play in both the WBBL and the Super League in England. She is hoping to inspire the next generation of players with her deeds in the WBBL.

“Playing any tournament will give you lots of confidence and WBBL is something, you know, it’s a very, very big platform back home Every Indian wants to play in this League and I was the first one who got this opportunity to play and today winning this Player of the Tournament definitely gives lots of confidence to Indian girls also. They can also come here and perform and be part of this and then there are all the chances to achieve a lot in their cricket career.”

She paid tribute to Renegades teammate Jemimah Rodrigues and coach Simon Helmet for their support throughout the tournament.

“Simon is a very, very nice human and is a great, great coach. I was lucky, you know, I played under him and I learned a lot from him and I think when I go back, I will definitely share his working skills with our coaches and definitely share this experience with my teammates.” Unfortunately, her team Melbourne Renegades failed to make it to the Final.

What an inspiration Harmanpreet Kaur is for other cricketers!

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