The union of cricket and Commonwealth Games is going to be a unique experience. For the viewers and the cast involved. Part of the uniqueness would be the games village. Athletes from different sports sharing the same roof is an integral part of the games’ culture and makes a I-was-there diary experience for everyone involved. India women’s cricket team head coach Ramesh Powar and his unit will have that opportunity very soon. And there are two athletes he and the group are looking forward to meeting.
“If there’s an opportunity, we all would like to meet PV Sindhu and Neeraj Chopra,” Powar said in a press-conference ahead of CWG 2022 on Saturday, July 23.
“I think he has set the bar high, both of them. I would love to go into their minds. I am curious about their preparations because the way they handle the pressure of a billion people, it’s commendable. I think we as a group would like to exchange some notes with these two top class athletes.”
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) July 23, 2022
Cricket’s inclusion at the Commonwealth Games has been seen by many as a big positive for the women’s game. England captain Heather Knight termed it as the game-changer in terms of reaching new people, a different level and even the Olympic Games. India captain Harmanpreet Kaur seconds that thought.
“As cricketers we always want that we get to play more and this year we are getting to participate in a multi-sport event,” Kaur said in the presser with the team coach.
Definitely (in the case of women’s cricket featuring at the Olympics), this tournament is really important for us and this time we’re playing for a medal. If I talk about myself, we’ve grown watching these kinds of tournaments and we’re glad that this time we are also getting this opportunity. I think the more we get to play in tournaments such as this, it’ll be good for women’s cricket.”
Kaur and her team have been visualising being a part of this tournament, walking with the rest of the Indian contingent of boxers, wrestlers, hockey players, shuttlers, etc. in the opening ceremony and celebrating their achievements whilst preparing for the glory themselves. The India captain shared that she was even imagining herself walking on that road during the press conference.
“That’s what we’ve been thinking of. Now it’s not only about cricket. Other teams will also be there, we’ll be there to cheer them on. We want to celebrate each and every medal that we win. We just can’t wait to fly and be part of this great event.”
“Important if all the batters can bowl also”
Going into her first assignment as India’s full time white-ball captain on the tour of Sri Lanka in June, Harmanpreet Kaur had mentioned that she as a captain wanted to prioritize multiple part-time bowling options in the XI, including herself.
The volatile nature of the T20 format only makes it sensible to have batters who can bowl and the Indian captain is all aye for that going into the T20 tournament at the Birmingham Games as well.
“For me it’s always important if all the batters can bowl also,” she said. “Having more options in the bowling is always a key point and that was the only reason we tried few things in the Sri Lanka series and we have been trying in this camp also. I think it’s very important when you have so many options then even the main bowlers don’t have too much pressure. I’m someone who likes to have too many options. That is why myself, Shafali (Verma) and Harleen (Deol) were bowling in the Sri Lanka series and they also responded really well.”