'We are aiming for gold' - Smriti Mandhana makes Indian team's intentions clear ahead of CWG 2022

The Indian team will begin their journey against Australia in the opening fixture of the tournament on 29th July.

Smriti Mandhana
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Smriti Mandhana. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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Cricket returns to the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 24 years as the CWG 2022 in Birmingham will be featuring an eight-team women’s T20 tournament from July 29, the first in its history. India Women’s vice-captain Smriti Mandhana remarked in a bold statement, that the Indian team will be hunting for a gold medal at the illustrious sporting event.

The women’s T20 tournament will see eight teams fight it out for the gold medal in a first-of-its-kind competition. The last time cricket was part of the multi-sport event was in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, when 16 men’s teams competed for the top prize. South Africa triumphed over Australia in the final to claim the gold medal.

England and Australia are the outright favourites for the 16-match tournament, with all the matches scheduled to be played at Edgbaston. Indian batting sensation Smriti Mandhana has cleared up that they are not heading to the tournament to make up the numbers and will be looking to make the country proud by clinching the top prize at the quadrennial event.

“All the girls are really excited, and we all know the feeling. We have all watched the Commonwealth and Olympic Games…, that when the Indian flag goes up and we hear the national anthem, I think everyone knows that feeling, and definitely, we are aiming for gold,” said Mandhana in a video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

We have our plans in place for Australia, Pakistan, and Barbados: Smriti Mandhana

The Indian team will begin their journey against Australia in the opening fixture of the tournament on July 29. Mandhana, who will be deputizing for all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur, has stated that they are prepared for their opponents and have plans in place for them. Notably, India are grouped together with Australia, Pakistan, and Barbados, while the other group consists of New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England, and South Africa.

“The groups were decided long back, so we have our plans in place for Australia, Pakistan, and Barbados. Hopefully, things work the way we have planned. I don’t think we’ll just look for a podium finish because when that flag goes higher and the national anthem plays, that’s the best feeling,” added Mandhana.