Harmanpreet Kaur’s blistering knock of 171 runs from 115 balls powered India to 281/4 against Australia in the semi-finals and brought her under the nation’s spotlight. It was her superb batting that put India in the driver's seat and eventually win to reach the final of the ICC Women's World Cup for only the second time.
The 28-year old’s performance led India cricket coach Ravi Shastri and experts like Harsha Bhogle, Alan Wilkins and Ayaz Memon to compare her innings to the 175 scored by India’s World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev against Zimbabwe in the 1983 edition.
Harmanpreet joined Women’s Big Bash League side Sydney Thunder in 2016 to become the first Indian cricketer to play for an international Twenty20 franchise.
Like many athletes who ply their talents in state-owned teams to acquire a job in a government organistaion, Harmanpreet too was offered a junior class job by the Northern Railways to feature in their team.
However, Indian cricketing legend Diana Edulji— a retired sports officer from Western Railway herself — wanted Harmanpreet to play for the Mumbai-based Western Railway team reports The Indian Express.
To get Harmanpreet to Mumbai, Edulji wrote to the Railways requesting a chief office superintendent’s post for Harmanpreet but her application was denied.
According to the report, Edulji then asked Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar to intervene on Harmanpreet’s behalf.
Edulji said, “I requested Sachin, who is a Member of Parliament, to write a letter to the Railway minister, forwarding the case of Harmanpreet Kaur.”
The plan worked as Edulji, armed with Tendulkar’s endorsement, convinced the Railway bosses to get Harmanpreet a better position in the Western Railway.
On Sunday, Harmanpreet will try to replicate her semi-final heroics when India take on England at Lord’s in the final of the 2017 ICC Women’s World Cup.
Updated Date: Jul 22, 2017 14:52 PM