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BCCI is doing a great job in developing women’s cricket, reckons Smriti Mandhana

Spoke about the experience of playing with foreign players and how they had a good time despite the team not reaching the finals.

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana. (Photo: IANS)

The 2017 World Cup was a milestone in Women’s cricket in India, which saw a major surge in attention from the common public and also the viewership. During this major transition, southpaw Smriti Mandhana was one of the most important players in the Indian ranks and her growth in these two years has inspired many young girls to pick up the bat.

Smriti Mandhana was awarded the ICC player of the year and ICC ODI Player of the year for the calendar year 2018, having scored tons of runs during this period. She spoke at length about the motivation these accolades give in an exclusive chat with Crictracker during the Red Bull Campus Cricket Nationals in Jaipur. She reminisced how some of the former cricketers inspired her to achieve this moment.

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“As a kid I remember reading Jhulan di getting it (ICC award) in a newspaper and I felt proud that an Indian is getting it. To be the second Indian to get it was a really proud moment for me. I don’t usually get excited but for 15-20 minutes after I got to know I won it I was very excited. I expected one award but two was a surprise. (ICC ODI Cricketer of the year and ICC International Cricketer of the Year).

It was a difficult period for me, I had played a lot of cricket and was mentally fatigued. Those awards made me realize I can’t stop working hard, so that was a really good thing,” Smriti said.

BCCI is doing a great job

When asked about the Women’s IPL, she spoke at length on how good a job BCCI is doing to make it happen. She also said that it is not right to compare the Women’s T20 challenge with the Women’s Big Bash, which is organized on a much larger scale.

“I think BCCI is doing a great job. I don’t think it is right to compare Big Bash with our current Women’s T20 Challenge. Expectations from cricketers of India is much higher than any other place in the world. It is not right for me to compare. Last year we had two teams, now we have three. It is exciting to see crowds coming in as well. I think we should be thankful about it,” She explained.

We toured around Jaipur after the games

Smriti Mandhana was captaining the Trailblazers this time in the Women’s T20 challenge and she had some amazing foreign players under her like Sophie Ecclestone, Kiwi legend Suzie Bates and also Staphanie Taylor. She talked about the experience of playing with these players and how they had a blast despite the team not reaching the finals.

I think we got along with each other very well. But if I have to say one name it’ll be Sophie Ecclestone and also Suzie Bates. We didn’t qualify for the finals so we had some time to roam around Jaipur. I was kind of a tourist guide for them, although I don’t know the place either I know Hindi, which is an advantage. Staphanie is also very sweet, I already played with her in the Kia League. But with Sophie and Suzie, we went out for dinner many times.

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