Podcast: Team India via Punjab and Himachal Pradesh – Journey of Harleen Deol

Female Cricket has reached to Mohali this time through their Podcast series. Stadiums are closed and it’s not an ordinary tour. This is a virtual tour, with all the listeners, to the beautiful city to meet Harleen Deol. Vishal Yadav makes the chat light and Harleen opens up and shows the best of her.

Alike others she started Cricket with her siblings but unlike others, she was a sportsperson from the good old early days. She was just nine and had featured in her school team after heroics on the school side. It became the district side later and soon, a kid, Harleen was playing with players twice her age. In one of the early matches that she recalls, the outing was not good for her side. It was 7 with all batters in the camp. Harleen stood out with 4 runs. She ran her heart out and got four out of those seven runs for her side. As a child who had played with tennis balls, it was gutsy of her.

Harleen Deol
Harleen Deol. Pic Credits: Instagram

 

The coach on the side noticed her strides and invited her to train with his side in Chandigarh. She started a serious practice and it became at 6:30 in the morning. Chandigarh had always been one of India’s furnished cities with infrastructure on point. Harleen too had her practice till 8 and then she would take a shower and breakfast in the school only. After leaving her school at 4, she was onto practice again till 7:30. She had decided that Cricket will be her professional domain.

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She could notice herself growing as she represented her district and the state respectively. Her childhood might surprise many. At the age of around 14, she had a clear notion of her future in Cricket. In her 9th standard, she landed at Himachal Pradesh from Punjab after her dad got transferred to Kangra in HP and till then she had around 82 medals in athletics under her name. They came in all shapes and sizes at all games you can imagine. She had already played 2 years for Punjab.

 

Harleen Deol posing with her India debut Cap with Smriti Mandhana
Harleen Deol posing with her India debut Cap with Smriti Mandhana. Pic Credits: Instagram

 

At 11, she was a regular face in the Punjab side. In the meantime, she had met Taniya Bhatia. Both came closer and are still close friends but have a bigger role of representing India on the biggest stages. In her vacations, she once went to Dharamshala and got her eyes on an academy. It was later revealed that it was the residential camp of HPCA. The admission slot was gone but not for Harleen. The whacking she had given to bowlers was still fresh in the coaches of HPCA who saw her previous season. A

separate trial was staged for her and she was smoothly into the academy. She started her career as a bowler. Her first season for Punjab came as an offspinner and in a gap of ten days, she thought of using her leg-spin variation to more effect. From the words of her coach, she was now a legspinner in the next season. Harleen had a different start.

With support from the family and some heroics, she got the stage. But her name as we now is a result of pure sweat. She turned the stage to her home turf and has slogged all her critics out of the park.

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