Chandigarh: Harmanpreet Kaur Bhullar wears her heart on her sleeve. All set to become the first Indian woman cricketer to play in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), Harmanpreet’s passion for the game has seen her rise from a humble town of Moga to become a lynchpin in the India squad.
Wearing jersey number 84, a tribute to the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, the Sydney Thunder recruit dedicates her recent feat to those victims.
“I am very emotional when it comes to my roots. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots were very unfortunate. I did not lose any relative during the riots, but innocent people were the victims. Whatever I have achieved so far is dedicated to my community and to the 1984 riots victims,” said the 27-year-old India vice-captain.
On Friday, the phone just wouldn’t stop ringing. Although she had offers from Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat too, Harman decided to zero in on the Sydney-based franchise, also the WBBL champions.
Harmanpreet is excited on the prospect of playing in the foreign T20 league. “I had been talking to Sydney Thunder captain Alex Blackwell over the last couple of days,” Harman said.
After the BCCI green signal, different Australian franchises which compete in the WBBL had been eyeing Harmanpreet for the second season to be held between December 2016-January 2017.
Daughter of a clerk, who works in district courts, Harmapreet has been a pillar of strength for her family. The Indian Railways employee built a new house in her village Duneke in Moga last year. A role model for aspiring female cricketers, she now wants to make the chance count.
“I always craved to play in a T20 league since the IPL began. We do not get enough matches, so it will be wonderful to get exposure. WBBL is a great platform to popularise the sport,” Harmanpreet added.
Known for her all-round skills, Harmanpreet made her international debut against Pakistan in 2009. Since then, she has been a regular with the India team, having played two Tests, 55 ODIs and 61 T20s.