Mumbai, March 2 (IANS) Ahead of Mumbai Indians playing their opening match in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), newly-appointed captain Harmanpreet Kaur stated she wants to do justice to the role and wishes to perform at her best in the competition.
“It is a big opportunity for me and I’m looking to take it with both hands. Hopefully I’ll be able to deliver my hundred percent. I will give my best in every way,” said Harmanpreet in a virtual press conference ahead of the tournament.
Mumbai Indians head coach Charlotte Edwards expressed her delight on Harmanpreet’s appointment as the skipper. “We are absolutely delighted to have Harmanpreet Kaur as our captain at Mumbai Indians. She is somebody who has led India brilliantly in the last few years. I’m really looking forward to working with her in the next few weeks.”
Harmanpreet, who has participated in WBBL and The Hundred in the past, thinks that WPL is a much-needed tournament which will benefit Indian cricketers hugely while earmarking Jintimani Kalita and Dhara Gujjar as players to watch out for. “The WPL is great platform to know overseas players, take something from their experience. The amount of experience and confidence I got playing in WBBL and The Hundred, I want the young Indian domestic players to get such.”
“It is a great opportunity for them to spent time with overseas players. The WPL will also personally provide me chance to have a look at some young talent from close quarters. I think this (WPL) is great platform for all Indian players.”
“We have been missing this tournament for a long time. In Australia the WBBL, and The Hundred in England has produced so many hidden talent. After the WPL, we are definitely going to get some great talents.”
With Mumbai Indians being the most successful franchise in the IPL with five titles and a rich legacy, Harmanpreet feels MI’s historic success will only boost the players and not act as additional pressure. “We are just here to play cricket. For me, it is very important to just be myself and enjoy the moment, because that is when I play my best cricket.”
Charlotte also spoke about the training happening by the team ahead of their WPL opener against Gujarat Giants at DY Patil Stadium on Saturday. “We have had a brilliant first week and have been here since last Wednesday. Players have been training since Friday. We have had a couple of warm-up games as well.”
“I have just been delighted with the squad. Our young Indian talent looks very exciting, which is great not only for us, but for India in general. The internationals have come in the last few days and we can’t just wait to get started from Saturday now.”
“Jhulan (Goswami, bowling coach + mentor) and Devieka (Palshikaar, batting coach) have been excellent in helping the domestic Indian players and they have great knowledge about the players. If I can get the best out of the young players, it will make Harman’s job a lot easier.”
Charlotte, an accomplished player for England, thinks that WPL will make Indian cricket stronger in coming years. “The Hundred is really special for women’s cricket. I only expect WPL is only going to be bigger.”
“It is massive for India cricket, make the Indian team stronger for couple of years. It is going to carve out unbelievable talent. The tournament is going to make India a powerhouse of women’s cricket for the next few years.”