Diana Edulji's SMS to Harmanpreet Kaur that led to her heroics in the ICC Women's World Cup
What’s the story?
Indian women’s T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur was on Saturday felicitated by the Mumbai Cricket Association at the Garware Club House, where she recalled how former captain Diana Edulji motivated her to score big before the quarter-final against New Zealand and semi-final against Australia. Harmanpreet had scored only 77 runs in her first six games, the kind of performance not expected from a star player like her.
"Before our match against New Zealand, Diana madam sent me a text message, asking me why I'm in England and what I'm doing in the team. Firstly, there were all sorts of thoughts running across my mind and to top it all, this message arrived. I didn't reply to her for the next two days. She then messaged again and asked, 'You are not replying?' I finally replied, saying 'Wait, we are coming with the Cup'. She replied: 'Firstly, I need your fifty.' I scored half-century against New Zealand in that match," recalled Harmanpreet.
The Punjab-born batter also regretted the fact that India fell short of only nine runs, and hoped she could have scored those nine runs.
"Before our semi-final against Australia, Diana madam asked me, 'What now?' I told her, I am focusing on the Cup and I am not bothered about my game, but I will do my best. When I scored an unbeaten 171 in the next innings, she congratulated me by saying 'I am very happy'. Even at that time I didn't reply, because I was thinking only about winning the final. Now, whenever we attend such felicitation functions, we all do a rewind and question ourselves why we couldn't score those nine runs and that makes us feel sad. I wish I could score those nine runs," said Harmanpreet.
In case you didn’t know
Harmanpreet Kaur scored a sensational unbeaten 171 against Australia in the semi-final. What stood out in her innings was that it came against the best bowling attack in women’s cricket, and despite the fact that Kaur was troubled by cramps in her legs.
The heart of the matter
India lost to England by nine runs in the finals at Lord’s. This was the second time they made it to the finals, the first time was in South Africa in 2005, when they met Australia in the finals but lost.
Prior to the World Cup, the Eves had played a World Cup qualifier tournament to qualify for the quadrennial event. They became the only team in Women’s World Cup to beat Australia, England and New Zealand in a single edition. Mithali Raj was awarded the captain of the tournament.
The BCCI is yet to announce the schedule for the women’s upcoming matches.
Harmanpreet Kaur’s 171 against Australia got the whole of India to take interest in women’s cricket. She destroyed the Australian bowling attack, hitting them for boundaries all over the park. That innings is one to remember for a lifetime.