Harleen Deol, the Indian women’s cricketer, has named the legendary MS Dhoni as her inspiration. The enigmatic men’s wicketkeeper was last seen on the cricket field in India’s 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand at the Old Trafford in Manchester. Martin Guptill ran him out with a direct hit after which Dhoni hasn’t played any competitive cricket and has been on a sabbatical.
He was set to return for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the start of the tournament and it’s not known when one can see Dhoni back in action. Meanwhile, Deol, who plays for Himachal Pradesh Women in the domestic circuit, conducted a ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Instagram.
Though she hasn’t played a whole lot, questions flooded in for the 21-year-old from Chandigarh, Punjab. One of the supporters went on to ask about the cricketer she draws inspiration from. The fan asked her and wrote, “Ur Inspiration”. The youngster replied and wrote, “All-time favourite @mahi7781 (love emoticon).”
Here is the screenshot of Deol’s reply
Harleen Deol’s numbers on the field
On February 22, 2019, Harleen’s dream of playing for India came true. She was drafted in as Harmanpreet Kaur’s replacement and she donned the national jersey against England at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. However, that remains to be her only ODI match thus far. In the very next month, Harleen also went on to make her debut in the T20I format.
In six T20Is until now, Deol has 23 runs and four wickets to show for her efforts. She was recently a part of India’s squad in the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia. To her dismay, she didn’t get to play a single match. Her only T20I this year was in February against the Aussies in Melbourne.
Last year, Deol was a part of the Trailblazers, led by Smriti Mandhana, in the Women’s T20 Challenge, which was taking place simultaneously to the Indian Premier League (IPL). In two matches, Harleen scored 36 and 43 runs, and also picked up a wicket against the Velocity.
At the age of 13, she left behind her parents and shifted to a new city to pursue her cricket career. Then she got herself enrolled at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association’s U-19 residential academy. From there on, she hasn’t looked back and is deemed to have a bright future in the offing.
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