After multiple heartbreaks, Harmanpreet Kaur looks at trophy-laden future

Post-match press conferences after knockout games have not been a similar experience for Kaur.  This was new. It was an experience she had yearned for years.

Published: 28th March 2023 11:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2023 12:24 PM   |  A+A-

Mumbai Indians’ captain Harmanpreet Kaur with the WPL trophy in Mumbai | Gomesh S

Express News Service

CHENNAI: It's the wee hours of Monday morning at the press conference room of the CCI Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. As the Women's Premier League Trophy was brought into room in the middle of the interaction and kept next to her on the dias, Mumbai Indians skipper Harmanpreet Kaur couldn't help but break into a giggle. "Finally," she would laugh, "today, look at this (not me)," pointing to the trophy.

Post-match press conferences after knockout games have not been a similar experience for Kaur. Thrice in the last three years, she had been there, minutes after an agonizing defeat against Australia, trying to compose herself, holding back her tears while answering, often breaking down after the interaction. This was new. It was an experience she had yearned for years. To win something that holds significance in the women's game, especially for Indian cricket.

"It feels good, personally, I was waiting for this moment for a long time, as a captain I can win something that is so important for women's cricket. This time we were able to do it, and I just want to keep doing it in the future also. I just hope the momentum we got through this tournament, we want to continue to the next season also and all the Indian players whoever did well, I am hoping that whenever they join the Indian team, there also they will give their 100 per cent," she said.

For the next 20 minutes, she would answer questions across various topics. Even when doing so, it was hard not to notice her looking at the trophy with a filled heart. While she was consciously reiterating how the WPL win and international cricket is different despite the parallels that have been drawn, it felt like she was shifting back and forth between India captain and Mumbai Indians captain. When asked about the way Shikha Pandey and Radha Yadav batted in the final, Kaur said that she was extremely happy to see that even though it was against her team. "After the match we spoke and I told her (Radha) that I want to see the same batting when you guys come to the Indian team," she said with a laugh.

Through the tournament, while leading Mumbai, Kaur did not seem to take note of the exciting talents who could potentially make it to the Indian set up. She reserved high praise for Shreyanka Patil, Kanika Ahuja and Jintimani Kalita among others, saying that whoever got the opportunities had done well. For she knows firsthand how such a platform can transform players having experienced it in the Women's Big Bash League.

This tournament is not just about the youngsters who are coming up, though. It's also about quite a few India internationals in their late 20s to early 30s who have been toiling in the domestic circuit without getting a chance to make a comeback. Ask Pandey (who was the leading Indian pacer by mile) or D Hemalatha (the joint-second in the most sixes by an Indian list) or Arundhati Reddy, or Sushma Verma and they will tell you what this stage means to them.

There are areas to be worked on for different players and teams, and it seems like most teams will be sending them detailed feedback and things they have to do. However, all-in-all, the inaugural edition has shown that it is likely to serve the intended purpose — growing the strength of the women's sport in the country and in turn, bringing laurels at the global stage. There is enough evidence (WBBL) to show that it will happen with time.

After 22 minutes, Kaur signed off on Sunday with that thought. "I was telling Jhulu di (Jhulan Goswami), let's bring this cup home, after that we can bring another cup we have been waiting for long."

India Matters


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp