Punjab spinner Harleen shifts base to HP for better opportunities
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Like any other aspiring female cricketer in the region, Harleen Kaur Deol's first brush with cricket happened during gully tennis ball matches where she would bowl out boys with her off-breaks. Gradually she started taking part in the school tournaments and powered Yadavindra Public School Mohali (YPS) to many triumphs. It was during a local match four years back, that coach RP Singh scouted Harleen for Punjab women's cricket. Harleen did not disappoint and served Punjab junior women's team well for four seasons.
But inspite of that, Harleen has now seeked NOC from the Punjab Cricket Association and moved to Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) in view of better infrastructure, coaching and opportunities. Harleen will NOT be wearing the Punjab colours, instead she will be training in the hills of Dharamshala at the HPCA stadium. The Mohali based Harleen has managed to secure a place in the HPCA Residential U-19 academy.
Speaking to Sportline, the 13-year-old beaming Harleen explained her decision of moving to HPCA,"I have learnt all my cricket being A Punjab cricketer. Having played with top level cricketers like Harmanpreet Kaur and Harpreet Dhillion helped me pick the game well and also raised my confidence. At the same time, I would like to move ahead and pursue better opportunities at the HPCA. The HPCA officials have not only been encouraging but also very supportive. I want to use HPCA's professional set up to the full and try to become better cricketer, said Harleen who was wearing PCA's tee during the interaction.
Harleen who also made to the Punjab senior women's team last season, bagged eight and 19 wickets in the last two U-19 national tournaments playing for Punjab. Harleen who started out as an offie, switched to leg-break bowling after Punjab coach Prakash Chand intervened and asked her to do so last year. He was impressed with her control and the turn she derived from the wicket. Since then, there has been no looking back for Harleen. She was Punjab's main strike spinner at the U-19 level and paved way for lot of victories for her state team.Harleen is an athlete to the core. She used to play basketball, football, hockey and other sports for YPS and was 'Best Athlete' for YPS thrice.
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