Harmanpreet Kaur Should Have Focussed More On Game Rather Blaming Others: Former Selector Mithu Mukherjee

Kolkata: Former India cricketer and a member of BCCI women’s selection committee, Mithu Mukherjee, felt that Harmanpreet Kaur should have focussed more on how to win during the tied third ODI encounter in Dhaka against Bangaldesh and not point fingers on others.

The Indian women’s team captain has been in the headlines recently for her outburst against poor umpiring in the series decider. She first shattered the stumps in a fit of rage after being given out LBW off Nahida Akter, which she thought was unfair as she claimed the ball had hit the bottom of the bat. DRS was not being used in the series.

Later on, at the post-match presentation, Harmanpreet criticised the umpires before mocking them during the end-of-the-series photo session. The third ODI ended in a tie with the umpires also not calling for a Super Over despite having enough light. The series ended 1-1.

“These things happen in heat of moment in a game of cricket and I believe, she will learn from this and be carefull of what she is speaking in the future,” Mukherjee, who was replaced by Shyama Shaw last month in the senior selection panel, told India.com on Monday evening.

“I don’t think these are off any importance. I feel these a part of joke (Harmanpreet calling umpires to join Bangladesh team for photo session), side talks,” added Mukherjee.

Calling India’s performance on Saturday appaling, Mukherjee minced no word in blaming the fielders, one of the worst performances in recent times. She also pointed out all-rounder Deepti Sharma for her non contribution despite being ranked inside top 10 in the world.

“Honestly saying, they played really badly that day (against Bangladesh in third ODI). Our bowling was horrible. There was no contribution from Deepti Sharma, one of ranked all-rounders (7th in ODIs),” she added.

“When you are professional, you definitley have to contribute. The players should have been more aware.” Mukherjee also felt Harmanpreet should have focussed more on the game. “I hope that in future, she should focus more on her Indian team rather than pointing fingers at others.

“She should focus on how to win more games for India and not blame others. I must say, India fielded very badly, too much runs on overthrows, if they can rectify all these small mistakes, then it will be good for the team. I want to see India in a better shape in the future,” said Mukherjee who represented India in four Test matches.

Mukherjee was a BCCI selector from 2020 to 2023. She had also worked for a two-year term during N Srinivasan’s tenure as BCCI president.

MCC, ICC Should Take Notice

Meanwhile, the 58-year-old hoped that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will take a notice of the whole episode and believed that the world body should have been more cautious with the women’s game.

“In my opinion, ICC been should been more cautious in this series – DRS should have been there and neutral umpires. If the ICC looks up all these things in the future matches, then we would see clean games of cricket in coming days.

“Jhulan Goswami is there in the MCC World Cricket Committee and if they take up these issues seriously and proposes ICC to make some significant changes in the staging of such bilateral series, there it would be good I think. Sourav Ganguly is a part of the ICC Chief Executives’ Committee,” she said.

Suspension Awaits Harmanpreet Kaur

Harmanpreet could well miss first two games in the upcoming Asian Games 2023 on charges of equipment abuse and public criticism of match officials. The charges against Harmanpreet has been pressed by ICC international panel match referee Akter Ahmed, who is also from Bangladesh.

“There is still some deliberation going on whether she should get three demerit points or four as there are two charges — match equipment abuse and criticism of match officials. In case there are four demerit points in a space of 24 months, you either miss a Test or two limited over games — in this case first two games of Asiad. In case, it is three, then she will only cop financial penalty,” a senior BCCI source told PTI.

Following the incident, Harmanpreet Kaur received severe backlash from former cricketers like Madan Lal and Diana Edulji.

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