India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was on Wednesday officially announced as the captain of the Mumbai Indians (MI) team ahead of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) starting in Mumbai on Saturday.
Harmanpreet, who recently became the first female player ever to complete 150 T20 Internationals during the ICC T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa, was bought for ₹1.8 crore by Mumbai Indians at the auction last month.
WPL will be held this month in Mumbai across two venues — DY Patil Stadium and Brabourne Stadium.
“We are thrilled to have Harmanpreet as the captain of Mumbai Indians’ first-ever women’s cricket team,” said team’s owner Nita Ambani in a media release on Wednesday.
“As the national captain, she has led the Indian Women’s team to some of their most exciting wins. With Charlotte and Jhulan’s support, she (Harmanpreet) will inspire our MI women’s team to play their best cricket, display a sense of pride, and bring even more glory to women in sports.” Mumbai Indians will be coached by former England captain Charlotte Edwards and the legendary Indian fast bowler Jhulan Goswami will be the team’s bowling coach and mentor. Former India player Devieka Palshikar will be the batting coach, while England’s Lydia Greenway will be the fielding coach.
Harmanpreet led India to the semifinals of the recently-concluded T20 World Cup, where the team crashed out after a heartbreaking loss to eventual winners Australia but not before some heroics from the India captain.
Despite suffering from a bout of sickness due to which she visited a hospital on the eve of the semifinal, Harmanpreet kept India in the contest with a fluent 34-ball 52 laced with a six and six boundaries.
She was dismissed at a crucial point during the chase as India crumbled despite being in a comfortable situation.
Mumbai Indians, who also have the likes of Nat Sciver-Brunt, Amelia Kerr, Pooja Vastrakar and Yastika Bhatia, will kick off their WPL campaign against the Beth Mooney-led Gujarat Giants at the DY Patil Stadium on the opening day of the competition.