Ahead of the opening clash against Gujarat Giants in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL), Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Harmanpreet Kaur has said that senior players also get to learn a lot from the youngsters and she wants to create an environment in her team where players can walk up to her anytime.
The inaugural edition of the WPL will kick off on Saturday with the blockbuster clash between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians.
Harmanpreet, who broke into India’s women’s cricket team way back in 2009, said two seniors – Jhulan Goswami and former captain Anjum Chopra – made sure the youngster felt comfortable in the new set-up.
“It is very difficult for a young player coming into the team to communicate with the senior players. I remember this from my early days. Now I am sure to reach out to them and speak with them because when I got into the Indian team, Jhulu didi (Goswami) and Anju didi (Chopra) made me comfortable. They were the ones who came up to me and spoke with me. They were also very keen to know about me. This is something that I have learnt from them and I try to follow the same thing here with the other girls,” Harmanpreet said at the pre-match conference.
“We also have (Dhara) Gujjar. She did really well in the practice game. Her approach towards the game, how she was running between the wickets… a lot of positives around. As a senior you also get to learn a lot from young players. This platform is important for everyone and it is nice to see the way young girls are approaching and coming up with so many questions,” she added.
Harmanpreet talked about her interactions with younger players.
“Previously, I did not get enough time or opportunity to get to know more about the domestic players and talk to them; like what kind of cricket they want to play and what kind of improvement they are seeking. We have someone like Sonam Yadav in the Mumbai Indians team, who played in the U-19 World Cup recently and I spoke with her yesterday. She was asking me questions on how she bowled in a couple of practice matches that we had and what I thought about her bowling.”
Mumbai Indians captain is aware of the value of effective communication with international players because she has participated in foreign leagues like the Women’s Big Bash League and The Hundred.
“I think we are having a lot of team activities. When you have fun together, that gives you an opportunity to get to know each other. The overseas players are very friendly. There are some players who cannot speak English. I remember when I went to WBBL, I could not speak much but I went out of my comfort zone and learnt this language.
“This is important because when you speak well, your confidence level goes up and I think if you add it to your daily routine then you will be more confident. The overseas players try a lot to make our young girls comfortable and the last two practice games that we had, gave us a lot of confidence because they communicated well because if we directly go and play there are more chances to make mistakes,” she added.
In its inaugural edition, five teams – Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and UP Warriorz – splurged their purse to acquire some of the best talents in the international and domestic circuit.
The final game of the league stage will be played between UP Warriorz and Delhi Capitals on March 21 at the Brabourne Stadium, CCI. The eliminator will be played at the DY Patil Stadium on March 24.
The final of Women’s Premier League 2023 will be played at the Brabourne Stadium on March 26. (ANI)