#ELLEVoices: Harmanpreet Kaur On How She Is #ImaginingTheWorldToBe

Cricketing all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur’s feats on the field are unmatched. A role model to scores of young girls across the country, this Arjuna awardee’s story is of grit, gumption and triumph. She converses candidly with us about the future of her passion – cricket, and her dream of seeing more girls discover their freedom.

Harmanpreet Kaur
Photograph: Sharad Thakur

ELLE: How has the pandemic impacted you? What have been your introspections, self-revelations and discoveries?

Harmanpreet Kaur: I felt lost without cricket and almost nothing made sense to me! After a week I decided to pen down a schedule. I indulged in indoor activities–cleaning, cooking and especially, home workouts. I adopted a dog and focused on raising him. Staying close to my family gave me the comfort and satisfaction that I was previously deprived off, as I had been away from them for years.

ELLE: What has the crisis shown us as a community?

HK: As a community, we must consider this as a wake-up call. Nature is eternal and more powerful than us, and we all witnessed that. It has its own way of responding to our actions.

ELLE: In the coming years, what do you see as challenges in women’s cricket?

HK: Before the pandemic hit, women’s cricket had started to gain considerable recognition. Post lockdown, however, I fear that recognition may have lost some momentum. As professional cricketers, we tend to overthink when we don’t get games to play, resulting in uneasiness and anxiety. When you lose that rhythm, you need to put in extra effort and practice, to give the best results. The board should plan the international calendar for the women’s cricket too. We should also look at having a full-fledged IPL for women, as a separate tournament.

ELLE: How do you see cricket being influenced by the changing mindsets? What have been your observations?

HK: It’s been over a decade since I started playing professional cricket. Back then, there were few women players and limited teams for us in domestic cricket. Today, when girls of various ages ask me whether they can take their first step towards learning this sport, I don’t look at them vulnerably. Rather, I always push them to start. Even if they won’t make it to the national team, they will still motivate a hundred other girls to take up the sport as a career. In the next few years, I want to see every girl to be able to make a decision for herself and enjoy the freedom that comes with it.

ELLE: What do you enjoy the most about being home, when you are not away on tournaments?

HK: I enjoy home-cooked food the most! It always gives me joy to be in my town, away from the hassles of life, and rest for a change. Change always helps a person do better in life; that’s what I have learnt with this experience.

ELLE: How are you #ImaginingTheWorldToBe post-COVID-19?

HK: People seem to be more aware of their surroundings. They want to adopt sanitisation and social distancing as a part of their lifestyle, which is good. Humans will definitely respect the environment and the cycle of life. This entire process will make the earth a better place.

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