During a facilitation on Saturday, Harmanpreet Kaur recalled the messages she received from India’s former captain, Diana Edulji during the Women’s World Cup that took place in England last month which saw India lose the finals to the hosts by nine runs.
Harmanpreet Kaur credited her upswing in form and her big runs to Diana Edulji’s SMS.
Recalling the incident, Kaur said, “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.”
She went on to explain how her focus remained on winning the cup and not on her own runs, yet it was her innings of an unbeaten 171 against Australia in the semi-finals that saw India through to the finals.
Edulji expressed her joy in another message to Kaur which she did not reply to either. She explained why, “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.”
Captain of India’s T20 side Harmanpreet Kaur was vocal about her regret but this story also turns out to be an example of what encouragement and support from a senior player can do.
Diana Fram Edulji, an Arjuna Awardee and a Padma Shri is India’s former Test cricketer who not only delved into cricket but had also tried her skills in basketball and table tennis at junior level.
But, it was a camp hosted by Lala Amarnath that helped her hone her skills to move forward in cricket. Like many current women’s cricketers, Edulji too played for the Railways before she made it into the Indian team where she played as a slow left-arm orthodox bowler.
Having made her debut in 1975, she became India’s captain in 1978. She ended her career as the highest wicket-taker with 120 wickets under her belt, a record that remains.