India women's cricket team vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur (right), Smriti Mandhana (left) with Mumbai girl Punam Raut during a felicitation ceremony on Saturday. Pic/ Suresh Karkera
India women's cricket team vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur turned emotional at a felicitation function organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association at the Garware Club House on Saturday. India ended up World Cup runners-up recently.
Harmanpreet, who sparkled against Australia with an unbeaten 171, regretted the fact that she could not help India win the final against England at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 23 when India fell short by nine runs at the spiritual home of cricket.
Harmanpreet recalled how former captain and current Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators Diana Edulji encouraged her to give her best when she was struggling for runs before she hit form.
"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, who managed to score just 77 in her first six games.
For the Punjab-born Western Railway cricketer, the World Cup was more important than her individual performance against Australia.
"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.
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