Harmanpreet Kaur bats for women's IPL
India's T20 skipper Harmanpreet reckons a premier league will help identify talent and do wonders for the women's game in the country
With the T20 World Cup less than 12 months away, the Indian women's team are reeling under seven consecutive losses - the T20 World Cup semi-final against England and the three-match series against New Zealand and England.
India's T20 skipper and Nike athlete Harmanpreet Kaur, who is recovering from an ankle injury that ruled her out of the England ODI and T20I series, opened up to mid-day on change of coaches and the benefits of the introduction of a few women's exhibition T20 games during this year's IPL.
On her recovery:
I think it will take another 10 to 15 days. I am expecting to be fit after that. This year we are hoping for some T20 games during the IPL, so hopefully, I will be fit by then. I have a month, so I am hopeful about regaining full fitness.
On the prospects of a women's IPL:
We have to start something. Only then we can see where we are going. Just sitting at home and then deciding... we can't do that. It's not going to happen. I am glad we are going to get a few more matches [tentatively three games during the IPL]. Last time, we got just one match. When we play many games, we will improve our cricket.
On planning for the T20 World Cup in 2020:
We are already planning a few [T20I] series before the World Cup. Hopefully, we will get them. Going directly into the World Cup is not a good idea.
On the introduction of youngsters in the T20 team:
This year we will get a few games during the IPL from which we will get a fair idea [about the players]. We only meet young girls when they are selected in the Indian team or the Challenger Trophy. We don't see them in domestic tournaments. If they play in the IPL, we will get a fair idea of their talent. Right now, we are giving them chances directly at the international level. International level is totally different from domestic cricket. IPL games are going to play a big role for the young girls. Whoever plays and perform will definitely help in forming a new team [in T20s]. Through the IPL we can also see how they take the pressure of playing against international players.
On the controversy over dropping Mithali Raj for the T20 World Cup semis in West Indies:
I can't comment on it because it was the same thing [Mithali was not included in the playing XI during NZ T20Is by new coach WV Raman too]. I don't know why in the World Cup all these things happened [coach Ramesh Powar was sacked despite India reaching semis for the first time in T20 World Cup]. I can't comment.
On the constant changes where the coach is concerned [Raman is the fourth coach since 2017]:
We are all professionals. Many players play in different overseas leagues. We have to adapt to the culture there. It is the same thing for us [with coaches changing]. I know coaches always play a big role in the team to develop and reconnect. I think both coaches did well. Ramesh Powar sir did very well. He [Powar] had less time to build a team and he played a very good role. Now, WV Raman sir is also doing a good job. So, hopefully, this sir [coach] will stay for a longer period (smiles) than the previous ones. We have to perform like the way we did in the T20s last year.
On the adjustments players have to make with new coaches coming in:
Yes, definitely [it affects players]. As professionals, we have to adapt to these things. We have to come up with the right and positive approach. These things are going to happen, we cannot control them. We just need to keep focussing on our performance.
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