Mumbai, March 2 (IANS) On being named captain of Mumbai Indians ahead of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur called it ‘a very emotional moment’ for her.
On Wednesday, the franchise appointed Harmanpreet as captain ahead of the WPL 2023, set to be held from March 4-26 in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.
Harmanpreet had been bought by the franchise for INR 1.8 crores at the player auction earlier this month.
“I’ve seen the Mumbai Indian team doing so well on TV. And now I’m going to be a part of it. When you show that aggression, the opposition is always under pressure. For me, it is very important that I support each and every player from my team and play aggressive cricket,” Kaur said in an interaction with MITV.
Harmanpreet is also the only Indian woman to score a hundred in the T20 format in international cricket. Under her leadership, India reached knockouts in the last three Women’s T20 World Cups, including being runners-up in the 2020 edition in Australia.
More recently, India reached the semi-finals of 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup. Harmanpreet also led India to a historic silver medal finish in the Women’s T20 event at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022.
At Mumbai, Harmanpreet will be working alongside head coach Charlotte Edwards as well as team mentor and bowling coach Jhulan Goswami, under whom she made her India debut in 2009.
“I feel lucky that I’m going to be working again with Jhulu di, and Charlotte is someone who did really well for English cricket. I have heard that she’s very, very calm and a very good coach. I’m sure I will learn a lot of things from her,” she added.
Recently, Harmanpreet became the only player to have played 150 T20Is. She aims to draw inspiration from India men’s captain Rohit Sharma, who has led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles. She now wants to follow the same legacy and aims to ‘keep the winning momentum like Rohit’s team and play the aggressive cricket they were playing’.
“I think it is a great achievement. I’m really looking forward to being a part of this team. I have seen Rohit (Sharma) doing so well for this team for so many years. I’ve gotten this opportunity to be a part of MI and I will also give my 100 per cent. The women’s team will also do well like the men’s team,” she said.
With the side having many uncapped players, Harmanpreet emphasised the importance of backing the players and giving them the freedom to play naturally.
“The most important thing is to just go out there and enjoy. This is a great moment for all women cricketers. We just want to try and win all the matches for Mumbai Indians,” the skipper said.
The right-handed batter signed off by giving a special message for the MI Paltan, Mumbai Indians’ fan army. “We have gotten so much response from the Mumbai Indians fans. I hope we keep getting the same support from the fans and I hope to see many fans in the stadium.”
Mumbai will take on Gujarat Giants in the opening match of the WPL on March 4 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.