July 17, 2024

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“Just Want To Keep Things Simple And Do Exactly What We Did Last Year”: Mumbai Indians Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur.

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Mumbai 16th February: “Don’t take pressure”, “keep things simple”, and “enjoy yourself and each other’s success”, simple keywords, often thrown around in elite sport, but these were the pillars that built Mumbai Indians’ title-winning campaign in the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). With exactly a week to go until the first game (February 23rd) of the second season kicks off at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Mumbai Indians skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur, echoed the same in a pre-season press conference on Friday in Mumbai.

 “We just want to do what we did last year, keep things simple and enjoy our cricket. We hope to give all the players clear roles so that they can go out there and perform. I know a lot of eyeballs will be on us this time since we won last year, but last year as well, we didn’t put any pressure on ourselves,” she said.

 “We’ll try and create a similar atmosphere, enjoy each other’s success and back each other. That’s the best thing about our coaches. Their support plays a huge part.”

Charlotte Edwards, MI’s Head Coach, and Jhulan Goswami, MI’s Mentor and Bowling Coach, two certified legends of the women’s game have joined hands to form an equally formidable coaching environment.

We picked the team 12 months ago, and what a wonderful experience it was for the group of players and support staff. To lift that trophy as Harman did on that night at the Brabourne Stadium, will be up there as one of the highlights of my career. More importantly, the people we did it with, with all the youngsters. It was an incredible time,” said Charlotte.

To work with Jhulan. She got me out many times, and she reminds me a lot about that too. To get to work with her finally and to be in the same team was great.”

Charlotte and me try to discuss a lot of things. Even when both of us are busy, we try and stay in touch. She has been thoroughly professional, I have learned a lot from her and enjoy every moment with her. Honestly speaking, this is my first assignment as a bowling coach and I have learned a lot on and off the field from her,” Goswami added about working in tandem with Edwards.

Over the years, the MI scouting process has unearthed hidden gems who’ve gone on to achieve great things in the sport. Charlotte, who saw it firsthand, was only too happy to acknowledge her amazement at the process and the contribution.

I have been blown away by the scouting system at MI. Coming into this role, I didn’t know much about it. All I knew was that MI was really good at it. To see the scouts in action just before the auction was a testament to the hard work that has been done. We have signed four players because of that. Hopefully, we can unearth the next future star, which is very exciting.”

Two such youngsters, Yastika Bhatia, the Emerging Player of the Year from 2023, and Issy Wong, the first person to take a hat-trick in the WPL, were key in MI’s sprint to the title last year.

Yastika spoke passionately about the impact Kiran More had on her career and how training with him brought about a turnaround.

When I met Kiran (More) sir in 2021, it was the turning point of my career. I was struggling and was out of the team. I was uncertain how I would get a chance. That’s when I met him and he trained me for 45 days. It changed my outlook towards cricket and life. He is a very positive person. Last year’s WPL as well, I enjoyed thoroughly and the teammates were like family to me,” she said. 

Opportunity to work with guys who have so much experience in the game is something I don’t take lightly. You don’t get such opportunities, especially in the women’s game to have strong female coaches who have a lot of experience,” said Issy of the Charlotte-Jhulan combo.

Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals kick off the second season of the WPL on February 23 in a replay of the 2023 final. The first leg of the tournament is to be played in Bengaluru, followed by the second leg and the playoffs at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi.

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