India Today


Undaunted by the weight of captaincy, cricketer HARMANPREE­T KAUR, 33, is ensuring that she and her teammates move together from strength to strength

- —with Shail Desai

“To be called HARMANPREE­T is very THOR encouragin­g. With more responsibi­lity, I feel more mature and selfless”

Q Women’s cricket was included for the first time at the Commonweal­th Games this year. How important was this step for the game?

We feel fortunate to have represente­d our nation in a multi-sport event. We challenged ourselves game after game to win a medal. During the 15 days that we stayed at the Games Village, we met all kinds of athletes and learnt about their journey, which helped us broaden our mindsets. It’s a great move to include women’s cricket at the Commonweal­th Games.

Q. This, though, is the third time India has lost the final of a major tournament in the last five years. What needs to change to win these big matches?

Self-belief, commitment and a winning habit. We, as a team, need to create a winning environmen­t and not get overconfid­ent about our skills and achievemen­ts. It is important that each player carries some responsibi­lity and wins big matches. I’m very proud of the team that we are building, yet somewhere I feel that the finishing needs to be smoother.

Q. The camaraderi­e between the players is evident. What are the important changes that have taken place in the dressing room?

The dressing room is more like a hangout place for us. We enjoy, laugh, sing and dance there. We have discussion­s a day prior to the game in order to keep the dressing room environmen­t light. Each player has her own space to think, plan, prepare and execute.

Q. You’ve played in leagues in Australia and England. How has this helped you as a player and how do you see the women’s IPL helping the game?

Playing among the finest players in the world does develop a better understand­ing of the game. I’m sure the women’s IPL will bring a lot to the table for big talents to display their game in various capacities.

Q. You’ve earned the nickname “Harmanpree­t Thor” for your hard-hitting…

There was a fan who would bring a poster to the match every time with my name as “Harman Preet THOR”. After that, my team started addressing me the same way. This Marvel character is known for its power and energy and to be called that is very encouragin­g.

Q. You made your India debut in 2009. How have you changed as a cricketer?

I was always an aggressive cricketer who wanted results. But with more responsibi­lities coming my way, I realise that I am getting mature and selfless. ■

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