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'Game is Above Individual…': Mithali Raj Lambasts Harmanpreet Kaur for Her Disrespectful Behaviour

image-lkknzqwaHarmanpreet Kaur has been suspended for two matches | Source: Twitter 

In a scathing critique, Mithali Raj, the former captain of the Indian women's cricket team, called out Harmanpreet Kaur, her former teammate and the current Indian captain, for her actions during the recent ODI match against Bangladesh. 

For the uninitiated, Harmanpreet Kaur was involved in a heated altercation with the umpires during the third ODI against Bangladesh following her contentious dismissal. Not just this, she went on to make unsavory comments about both the opposition and the umpires during the post-match ceremony. 

During the trophy-sharing ceremony and photo session, Harmanpreet Kaur was again involved in a heated exchange when she asked the Bangladesh captain, Nigar Sultana, to have the umpires join them in the photo session, implying that they were biased towards the host team.

Meanwhile, Mithali Raj didn't hold back in her critique of Harmanpreet Kaur, deeming her behavior 'disgraceful and atrocious' in her column for Hindustan Times. She also stressed the significance of teams upholding respect for their oppositions. Here’s what she wrote:

“A team is expected to show respect to the opposition, especially in this particular series where one must give credit to Bangladesh for how they played and fought hard. This is good for the sport, for women’s cricket. If it is true what is being reported in the media in respect to Harman’s behaviour towards the opposition captain during the photo session with the trophy, it is simply disgraceful and atrocious.” 

Furthermore, Mithali Raj made it clear that although Harmanpreet Kaur is a brilliant player, her behaviour must not be excused, given that there are kids and others who view her as a role model. 

“Harmanpreet is a good player and is a role model for a lot of kids. One has to conduct themselves in a dignified manner on and off the field as responsible cricketers.”

“Earlier, women’s cricket did not have much coverage, or presence on the social media; now everything is in the public domain and all actions are emulated by aspiring kids who want to take up the sport.”

The former captain concluded by saying that the game is greater than any individual, and while showing aggression during play is fine, it should not be carried beyond the field once the match is over. 

"It is okay to be aggressive and show emotions to a point, but one shouldn’t forget the game is above individuals. While Harman’s anguish is understandable, her behaviour shouldn’t be condoned. Also, what happens in the match should be left there.” 

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has penalized Harmanpreet Kaur with four demerit points, resulting in a suspension for her next two matches, which will see her missing the two crucial matches in Asian Games 2023, set to be played in China.