Women’s cricket is making its debut at the Commonwealth Games.
“This tournament is very important for us. This time we are playing for a medal. If I speak about myself, we have grown watching these kinds of tournaments and we are glad that we are also getting an opportunity, we will be part of a big event.
“I think in the future, if we keep getting these (kind of) opportunities, it will be great for us,” Harmanpreet said at the pre-departure press conference on Saturday.
India’s history at the Commonwealth Games
Harmanpreet, who has played in the World Cups before, is looking forward to a “different” experience.
“When you were speaking, I actually felt that I am walking on that (CWG) road, because that is what we are talking about and this time we are going to be part of a multi-sporting event.
“Now it is not only about cricket but other teams also and we will be there for them to cheer up and we want to celebrate each and every medal. This time it will be totally different and we are all very excited,” she said.
Each game crucial
India are clubbed in Group A alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, Australia and Barbados. They open their campaign against Australia on July 29.
“Whenever we play against them (teams like Australia), they have always given us tough competition. And this time also, we are looking very positive. Every game will be crucial for us and we will try to give 100 percent.”
According to Harmanpreet, it is important to perform well in big events.
“Yes, as a cricketer, we always want to play more cricket and this year we are getting to participate in a multi-sport event. So, when you go for a big-event it is important to perform well, the more we get such tournaments, it is good for women’s cricket.”
Harmanpreet said she will think about what approach the team will take after seeing the conditions. The team departs on Sunday.
“Look, you are speaking about targets (totals), once we reach England, then only we can see. Right now we don’t have any idea about the wickets. If you talk about our team, we always love to play positive cricket and that is what we have been doing for a long -time and the approach will be the same,” she added.
Important to have batters who can bowl
“….it is very important, when you have so many (bowling) options, the main bowlers do not feel pressure. And if you have more options, then you take off pressure from the bowlers,” she added.
Head coach Ramesh Powar wants team to meet Sindhu and Neeraj
“If there is an opportunity, we all would like to meet PV Sindhu and Neeraj Chopra, because both of them have set the bar high. And I would love to go into their minds and I am curious about their preparations, because the way they handle the pressure of billion people, it is commendable,” Powar said.
“We as a group would like to exchange some notes with these top-class athletes.” the head coach added.
Powar is excited to be a part of a multi-sporting event.
“This is the first time we are participating in a tournament of this magnitude. It is a bigger platform for our girls and a great opportunity to showcase talent, our game. We can tell the world that women’s cricket can participate in different kind of events.
“We all as cricketers, myself watched the Olympics and Commonwealth Games and we see our nation’s flag flying high. It is kind of opportunity for all of us to showcase good performance, give our best and make the country proud.”
“Happy with the squad”
Powar said the team management was happy with the squad chosen for the CWG.
“We all get together and we try and pick the best combination, which is suited for that particular competition. We are happy with the squad, because we were part of the discussion and we took this call collectively.”