Harmanpreet Kaur

Mumbai Indians had bought Harmanpreet Kaur for INR 1.8 crore, the third-most expensive after Nat Sciver-Brunt and Pooja Vastrakar.

Image Credit: NDTV Sports

Harmanpreet Kaur, India’s captain, will captain the Mumbai Indians in the first season of the WPL, which kicks off on March 4 in Mumbai. Harmanpreet was not the most expensive player purchased by Mumbai at the auction last month, but she was expected to lead the side, including Nat Sciver-Brunt, Hayley Matthews, and Amelia Kerr.

“As national captain, she has guided the Indian Women’s team to some of their most exhilarating victories,” said Nita Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians. “And I am confident that, with the help of Charlotte [Edwards, head coach] and Jhulan [Goswami, bowling coach and mentor], she will inspire our MI women’s team to play their best cricket, show pride, and bring even more glory to women in sports.”

Mumbai paid INR 1.8 crore (US$ 220,000 approx.) for Harmanpreet, the third-highest price for them after Nat’s INR 3.2 crore ($390,000 approx.) and Pooja Vastrakar’s 1.90 crores ($232,000 approx.).

Harmanpreet has led India to the knockout stages of the last three T20 World Championships, including the final in Australia in 2020. India barely missed out on the final place in the current T20 World Cup in South Africa, losing to eventual champions Australia by five runs after Harmanpreet’s 52 off 34.

Harmanpreet is the only player in men’s or women’s cricket history to have played 150 T20Is, with her Indian counterpart Rohit Sharma, who leads the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, coming in second with 148 games.

Harmanpreet will lead the team alongside Edwards, Goswami, and batting coach Devika Palshikar. Pooja Vastrakar, Yastika Bhatia, and Amanjot Kaur are the other international Indian players in the squad.

On March 4, Mumbai will face Gujarat Giants in the WPL opening at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.