Practicing with the boys has made Harmanpreet Kaur the better player, according to her one-time coach Yaduvinder Singh Sodhi, who is now settled in Australia. Speaking exclusively over her mobile, Yaduvinder Sodhi said, “it is common in our Gian Jyoti Cricket Academy (in Punjab, now it is being run by his brother Hartaj Singh Sodhi) where girls practice with the boys. The girls can improve better by playing with the boys”.
Interestingly, Harmanpreet Kaur, who is fond of having different pair of shoes was using Yadu’s shoes initially. She was very shy and was using my pair of shoes. Having different shoes has been her passion and now we sarcastically seek her advice on buying the shoes”.
Yadu did follow India’s Women’s World Cup Semi Final match against Australia at odd hours. “I was at the place where I had to leave frequently and the people around me were wondering that but I was looking for the score updates all the time”.
“I did speak to her before the match. I told her that your dream to win the World Cup for India is not far and you have to deliver in next two matches. She delivered in the first and ket us she what she does in the Final now”, the coach added.
“Harman was initially wearing jersey no. 84 and 45 but is using no. 17 being her lucky number. The number 84 is a bit related to Sikh genocide and her father didn’t want her to use that number. It was a bit hurting”.
“Harmanpreet’s father was worried about her practicing with the leather boys and my father (Kamal Sodhi, who owned a school where Harmanpreet was admitted later) had to convince him to not worry about the injuries”, Yadu said.
It is the first time in the history of cricket in South Australia where an Indian Punjabi is a head coach. Yaduvinder Singh is professionally coaching to Port Adelaide Cricket Club as Women’s team head coach. “This is my first season here. I took this job barely six months ago (in January). Coaches get appraisal here in Australia. In India they need only yes men. Not coached”, he signed off.