When the Indian women’s cricket team lost to Australia in the Semi-final of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in 2023, captain Harmanpreet Kaur broke down in tears. But instead of letting her emotions show, she put on a pair of sunglasses and tried to hide her tears from her teammates and fans.
In a post-match interview, Kaur said, “I didn’t want the Indian people to see me crying.” Her gesture of strength and resilience in the face of defeat won her the admiration of many cricket fans across the world.
A Brief Introduction to Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur is one of the finest cricketers in the Indian women’s cricket team. She was born on March 8, 1989, in Moga, Punjab, India. Kaur made her international debut for India in a T20 match against Bangladesh in June 2009. She quickly established herself as a top-order batter and a handy off-spinner.
In November 2018, Kaur became the first Indian cricketer, male or female, to sign a Big Bash League contract, when she was signed up by Sydney Thunder. Kaur’s hard-hitting batting and excellent fielding skills have made her a valuable asset to any team she plays for.
Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of India
arrived at the post-match presentation with a pair of sunglasses. In no way could it be considered a fashion statement. She did it so no one would see her crying. Harmanpreet did not want her “nation” to see her sobbing because she felt it would shame them. That revealed a lot about Harmanpreet not only as a cricket player but also as a leader and, most importantly, as a person. She fought through illness—possibly it’s that she wouldn’t have even played this match if it hadn’t been a semi-final in the World Cup—and she gave it her all out on the field. She came out to the plate swinging like a bat out of hell. The right-hander led India to a dominating position and smashed the Australian bowlers to all areas of the stadium, but he was unable to push India across the finish line. After the heartbreak of the ODI World Cup final in 2017 and the Commonwealth Games gold medal match in 2018, India’s loss to Australia in the semi-final of the tournament was another gut-wrenching last-over thriller. They were defeated by Australia by five runs.
Because of how well she played on Thursday at Newlands, Cape Town, the match was India’s, and Harmanpreet’s moment of triumph was the highlight of the day. Yet the unimaginable occurred when the country felt certain that they could outperform the formidable Aussies. Harmanpreet was dismissed in one of the craziest ways that were even remotely imaginable. On the 15th over, while she was attempting to return back for the second run, her bat became caught a few inches before the crease. As India needed to score 40 runs off 32 balls, Harmanpreet was run out after scoring 52 off 34 balls.
Former team leader Anjum’s handshake with the current skipper at the end of the match causes Harmanpreet to break down in tears.
It was a blow that spoke volumes. Australia was given a second chance at life and immediately began exerting pressure of its own. Richa Ghosh, Deepti Sharma, and Sneh Rana were unable to manage all that was going on. Despair began to spread around the Indian dressing room after their team’s score of 171 was five runs short of Australia’s total of 172. Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh, and the other Indian players did their best to hold back tears. Jemimah Rodrigues produced a key knock of 43 off 24 balls. Yet none of them were in the position that Harmanpreet was, which required them to look straight into the camera. Being the team captain, she was obligated to fulfill the post-match broadcast obligations, which she did while wearing sunglasses.
“I don’t want my country to see me sobbing, which is why I am wearing these glasses,” Harmanpreet said to the broadcasters. “I swear, we will improve and won’t let our nation down like this again.”
Harmanpreet Kaur’s contribution to Indian cricket cannot be overstated. She has been a consistent performer for the Indian women’s cricket team for over a decade and has inspired a generation of young cricketers in India.
Kaur’s hard-hitting batting, athletic fielding, and cool-headed leadership have made her a role model for many aspiring cricketers, both male, and female. Her performances in international cricket have earned her numerous accolades, including the Arjuna Award in 2017 and the Padma Shri in 2019.
Harmanpreet Kaur’s story is a testament to the power of resilience and determination. Despite the disappointment of losing the T20 World Cup semi-final, Kaur remained composed and dignified and won the hearts of millions of cricket fans across the world.
Kaur’s legacy as a trailblazer for women’s cricket in India is secure, and she will continue to inspire generations of young cricketers to come. We salute her courage, her grace, and her unwavering commitment to the sport of cricket.