Harmanpreet Kaur could only celebrate the biggest birthday party of her life by winning the glory of the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Regardless of whether or not she wins the trophy on her 31st birthday, the Indian captain knows that the opportunity will always be one.
Kaur is about to write history. If she leads India to MCG on Sunday, she will be the first woman to ever captain India in a T20 World Cup final.
It is not only their country’s first appearance in the showpiece but also one that could break history if it sets a world record for a sporting event for women.
But it’s not just about history books. Sunday will be a special day for the skipper in several ways when her parents from Moga arrive to see them in action – their mother because she sees cricket for the first time.
If she celebrated the celebration on International Women’s Day with a win, this would be the most appropriate moment for a player who has revolutionized women’s cricket in her country.
As a child, Kaur was always annoyed because she said she wanted to be a cricketer when she was big. But that clearly only motivated her to reach new sizes.
She took part in the first Women’s T20 World Championship in 2009, but it took a while and a lot of patience for Kaur to establish herself as a name on the team.
After a disappointing home world championship, in which India won only one game in the group phase, Kaur was transferred to captain rule in 2016 – and everything changed here.
Kaur’s innings of an undefeated 171, which knocked out Australia in the semifinals of the 2017 World Cup, triggered a new triumph for women’s cricket in India.
It was more than just the sold-out final at Lord. Harmanpreet was a trend on Twitter and suddenly she was the leading voice in taking women’s cricket to the next level, at both elite and grassroots levels.
When it comes to career milestones, Kaur has plenty of them.
In 2016, she became the first Indian to sign a T20 overseas contract when she signed for Sydney Thunder, the first female champion in the Women’s Big Bash League.
In her debut season, she won many games due to her aggressiveness, while ending up as the leading runner of the Thunder and also offering an all-round show with the ball.
And later that year, she led India to her sixth Asian Cup crown in a row.
In 113 T20I innings she shone on all fronts, scored 2,182 runs and has taken 29 wickets since her debut against England in 2009.
It may have been surpassed by Shafali Verma ahead of this year’s finale, but there is no doubt that Kaur is able to rise in the middle.
With a total of 183 runs at the 2018 T20 World Cup, the captain has achieved the second highest number of runs for India at the tournament, 32 behind Mithali Rajs 208 in 2014.
Kaur has only double-digited four wins in India’s Down Under once, and while she knows she can’t beat Raj’s record on a recent MCG deployment, she’ll know exactly how important it is to advance on the showpiece.
Host Australia is used to great stage successes. 12 of this year’s squads won the trophy in 2018 – and they want the show to take place in front of a large crowd at the MCG on Sunday, especially after losing to India in the opening game on home soil.
But if there’s one player who has put their hopes down, it’s Kaur. Are you ready for the final? then watch INDw vs AUSw T20 World Cup Final Live