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South Africa has several good memories for Indian fans, hoping to bring them more cheer: Harmanpreet

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) With the Women’s T20 World Cup starting from February 10 in South Africa, India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur admitted that the country holds several good memories for the supporters back home and bringing them more joy is on their agenda.

M.S. Dhoni had led a young Indian team to the title in the inaugural ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007. On Sunday, under Shafali Verma’s captaincy, India won the inaugural edition of U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, making it the first-ever global trophy for an Indian women’s cricket team.

“As for South Africa, it has several good memories for Indian fans, and we are hoping to bring them more cheer. Our men’s team played the final of the 2003 World Cup there and the women’s team followed by making the final in 2005.

“The Indian men’s team then did one better by winning the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. Will we be able to emulate them once again? Only time will tell, but we definitely are aiming to do that!” wrote Harmanpreet in her column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday.

Harmanpreet also expressed confidence in her team’s chances at the Women’s T20 World Cup, pointing out the recent successes as well as taking inspiration from the victorious Indian team at the U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup.

“The Under-19 team’s victory provides added inspiration. Winning any world title is huge and one will always remember this one since it was the inaugural edition of the championship. I congratulate the team for the historic victory and hope we can emulate them in the senior event.”

“We have senior players as well as young guns like Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh, who are fresh from the Indian team’s victory at the Under-19 World Cup, play an attractive brand of cricket and now also have enough experience of top-class cricket. We have depth in batting and enough variety in bowling with Renuka Singh stepping up well in the pace department to do what is required against top teams.”

“We have been preparing well too. We won the Asia Cup and silver in the Commonwealth Games in recent months. A home series against Australia in December further gave us the opportunity to test ourselves and try our combinations against a top side.”

“Though we lost the series 4-1, there were enough thrills in the series for the thousands who thronged the Mumbai stadiums. The attendance in those matches also reflected the growing attention the women’s game has been able to attract in recent times,” she elaborated.

India last made it to the final of the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup, which Australia won on in front of a packed MCG crowd. Harmanpreet signed off by saying the Indian team will put all their might to be remembered as a side which consistently beat the top teams.

“I am sure this year’s tournament in South Africa will be ultra-competitive. Though Australia go into the tournament as favourites, there is very little separating other teams, promising close matches and high-class performances.”

“India have made the final of ICC senior women’s global events three times — the 50-over World Cups of 2005 and 2017 being the other occasions – and are hungry for that evasive title as we go to South Africa with high hopes and the confidence of having an outfit that can beat any team on its day.”

“Now, it’s all about us putting to use our experiences, remaining focused and not getting overawed at crucial junctures. We have confidence in our abilities and understand that we need to step up a level to be remembered as a world-beating Indian side.”



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