Controversies have traditionally been closer to sports. They provide the action off the field to fans and those in media or in awe of gossips. Controversies have been far from the women cricketers of India. The side is rarely amidst any news feature of this sort. The only exception is the one involving Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur. It revolves around dropping Mithali in between the 2018 World T20.
The key face of Indian batting was dropped from the side for the semifinal against England. Indian side suffered a loss and was kicked out of the tournament. It has to be noted that she (Mithali) was injured for a match against the Irish side. She had to walk off the field. The injury went further and got her out of the remaining Group B fixture. She couldn’t play against Australia but was ready to be part of the semis. However, Harmanpreet had a surprise for everyone. She went on the pitch and post toss announced that India will have an unchanged eleven.
It was speculated that all was not well in the Indian camp. Things got sour when Mithali wrote against the then Indian coach Ramesh Powar and Diana Edulji. She accused charges of biased selection. Moreover, the manager of Mithali Raj wrote a post where she slammed Harmanpreet. It has been some time since the controversy broke and thankfully things seem to turn fine between the icons of Indian cricket.
While talking to Harsha Bhogle for Cricbuzz, Harmanpreet lauded the contributions of Mithali Raj. She went on to say that she would not have been as contributing to India as Mithali even if she made her debut alongside her. She added that there were some people who triggered the controversy.
She said: “There were such people, it’s not the right platform to take the names. Because they are the biggies, some very big cricketers. When a team reaches certain stature, such things happen. Mithali Di is a lot senior to me. I haven’t played half the amount of cricket she has played. She has been playing cricket for 20 years, there’s no comparison between her and me. I do not want to compare myself to her as I know that what she has given to women’s cricket, I would not have been able to contribute that even if I started playing cricket when she did. She has been contributing from a time when there was nothing for India’s women’s cricket. I started performing when I had a ready platform. Both of us never let any incident affect the team’s bonding”.
She further commented on the controversial post. She said “I am a very easy going person. A lot of things happen, but you have to ignore them. For example, while I had permission from my parents to go out and play while growing up, others objected to me playing with boys. My father told me from Day 1 to not focus on anything which I did not like.
I am not active on social media so I don’t read much into what’s going around. As you pointed out that the manager’s post, I wasn’t even aware of it, it was shown to me by my team-mates. I told them to ignore it as when it did not bother me, it should not have bothered them”. It is heartening to see Indian stars making it up for the misunderstandings and getting their act together.