ON THE FRONT FOOT
Undaunted by the weight of captaincy, cricketer HARMANPREET KAUR, 33, is ensuring that she and her teammates move together from strength to strength
“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. ■