Harmanpreet Kaur has a story quite unlike a lot of other female sports stars in the country. It wasn’t tough convincing her folks when she decided to turn professional. That her family was obsessed with the game helped. Her performances on the field did the rest. “I was always very determined that I have to represent India. I don’t remember even thinking about another career option apart from cricket.”

Photo: CricBuzz

It was her father’s passion for the game that rubbed off on her too. A club cricketer himself, Harmandar Singh Bhullar chopped off and customised one of his own bats – oversized for his pre-teen girl – for her routine 4 pm cricket sessions with the friends.

The eldest amongst her three siblings, Harmanpreet is the apple of her father’s eyes. So much so that the parents took some serious flak from her school teacher, who lived a stone’s throw away, for letting a girl venture into the male-dominant game instead of encouraging her to take her studies more seriously. They did try though, like any other concerned parent in India would, by threatening to put a cap on her evening cricket routine, but did not bat an eyelid when the offer to pursue a career in the sport came through.

Kamaldish Singh Sodhi, who owned Moga’s premier cricket academy, was on his usual talent-scouting trip to one of the local cricket maidans in Punjab. When Sodhi spotted a skinny,teenagegirl taking on the challenge from boys in gully cricket – and acing it – the decision to build a girls’ team fromscratch was almost instant. Little did he know he was planting the seed for one of India’s most celebrated women cricketers.

Read the rest: CricBuzz

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