With the COVID-19 pandemic hurting Indian women's cricket the hardest, Supernovas and Velocity captains, Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj, said they are "very excited" to take the field on Wednesday (November 4) in Sharjah for the start of Women's T20 Challenge.
Return to competitive cricket since March is a cause of great relief for both the stalwarts of Indian cricket, especially with challenges encountered in preparation for the three-team competition in the form of quarantine and frequent testing inside the bubble life.
Harmanpreet's defending champions will be facing Mithali's last year's runners-up in the opening game.
"It has been a long time we have not played cricket, but we are very excited, at least we are going to play some cricket which as professionals we would always like to do. We are looking forward to the tournament and hope to do well," Harmanpreet said at a pre-match press conference, as her team eye their third straight title.
Mithali talked up the difficulties of staying confined to their rooms in the build-up to the event but said given the times, it's a challenge all players must take head-on.
"Overall, it is something new and anything new is challenging. But if it is what is required to have matches, then as players we are ready to accept the new norm of quarantine period and the bio-bubble," she said.
After an absorbing contest with Harmanpreet's team, Mithali's Velocity will be facing Smriti Mandhana's Trailblazers within only a day's gap, a theme that follows throughout the short five-day-long tournament for the three teams, only adding to their challenge.
"If you give more space in your mind it weighs you down," said Mithali. "It is a little bit of challenge because recovery time is less and next match is at 2pm. But it is important that we are having these games so that we have some game time. We want to play the best form of cricket and also everybody wants to play."
The inconveniences may be there, but Harmanpreet is just happy that there will be some cricket played.
"I am not thinking too much about that but sitting at home was painful, so it is better," she said.
(Inputs from PTI)