Harleen Kaur Deol, born on June 21, 1998, is carving her niche as a promising Indian cricketer. Hailing from Himachal Pradesh, this attacking right-hand batter, who occasionally bowls right-arm leg spin, is making waves in the world of women’s cricket.
A Remarkable Debut
Harleen’s journey in international cricket commenced with her Women’s One Day International (WODI) debut for India against England on February 22, 2019, at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Notably, she became the second woman cricketer from Chandigarh to represent India, following in the footsteps of Taniya Bhatia. Harleen’s consistent performances in domestic cricket had earned her this coveted opportunity.
Her cricketing journey was further enriched when she made her Women’s Twenty20 International (WT20I) debut against England on March 4, 2019, signaling her versatility across formats. Harleen’s prowess with the bat was on full display when she made her Women’s T20 Challenge debut for the Trailblazers on May 6, 2019, against the Supernovas. In that match, she shared a magnificent 100-run partnership with Smriti Mandhana, showcasing her ability to anchor an innings and accelerate when needed.
A Global Stage: 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup
Harleen Deol’s talent transcended boundaries when she was named in India’s squad for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia. This tournament provided her with an opportunity to showcase her skills on the global stage, representing her nation against the best in the world.
The Viral Catch
Harleen’s moment of fame arrived in July 2021 during a Twenty20 series against England. Fielding at long-off, she performed an extraordinary acrobatic catch that left cricket enthusiasts and experts in awe. While attempting to catch a lofted drive from Amy Jones, Harleen leaped high above her head, initially securing the ball with both hands. However, she realized that her momentum was carrying her over the boundary rope, which could have resulted in conceding six runs. In an incredible display of presence of mind and athleticism, she deftly lobbed the ball into the air, giving herself just enough time to re-enter the field of play before diving back to capture the falling ball in mid-air. This jaw-dropping catch earned her accolades from cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, solidifying her status as a rising star.
Commonwealth Games 2022
In July 2022, Harleen Deol’s talent was once again recognized when she was named in India’s cricket team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. Her inclusion in the squad reflected her growing stature as a dependable asset in the Indian cricketing setup.
Indian Women’s Premier League: Gujarat Giants (GG)
Harleen Deol’s domestic success led to her acquisition by the Gujarat Giants (GG) during the inaugural season of the Indian Women’s Premier League in 2023. Throughout the four-week tournament, she consistently displayed her batting prowess, amassing an impressive total of 202 runs at a strike rate of 125.46. Her performances were instrumental in keeping her team competitive, and she came within just two runs of being the top scorer for her side.
Harleen Kaur Deol’s journey in cricket has been nothing short of spectacular. Her ability to adapt to different formats, her remarkable catch that became the talk of the cricketing world, and her consistent performances in domestic and international cricket have marked her as a player to watch out for in the future. As she continues to evolve and hone her skills, cricket enthusiasts can look forward to witnessing her play a crucial role in India’s women’s cricket team for years to come.