India Women’s swashbuckling opener Smriti Mandhana has emerged as a vital part of the national side since breaking into the international scene. Known for her explosive batting and consistent batting record, the left-hander has proved her mettle in ODIs as well as T20Is. Donning the Indian jersey in 51 ODIs and 75 T20Is, Mandhana has smashed runs at an average of 43.08 and 25.23 respectively.
Mandhana, in a recent interview, stated that a full-fledged women’s Indian Premier League will be of tremendous help in spotting the talent which would help the national side to do well at the international stage. Mandhana also lauded BCCI‘s efforts for hosting exhibition matches of women’s IPL a couple of years ago.
“The BCCI has put in a lot of effort, first we had an exhibition match kind of women’s IPL two years ago then there was a very successful IPL with three teams. And this year it was supposed to be four teams,” Mandhana said on the BBC podcast ‘The Doosra’.
Women’s cricket in India is growing massively: Smriti Mandhana
Furthermore, Mandhana said that a five or six-team women’s IPL will be a crucial step in the betterment of women’s cricket in the country.
“I’m sure a lot of IPL style matches will take place for a year or two. A five or six-team IPL for women will be great for Indian women’s cricket especially for the World Cups,” she added.
According to Mandhana, there’s still a gap between the domestic and international circuit in women’s cricket. However, the southpaw is hopeful that the gap will be diminished in the upcoming 2-3 years.
“Women’s cricket in India is growing massively, especially the domestic circuit. But there’s still a lot of gap between competition between international and domestic circuit which I think will be bridged in 2-3 years.”
Mandhana was awarded the ICC’s woman’s cricketer of the year in 2019 and she also revealed an incident which involved current Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
“I spoke to Virat in New Zealand last year. Both of us had got the ICC award he said ‘Your team can do something in India that the men’s team can’t. That is change the culture of women in India and that you all as the team have a big role to play in future. Whenever you feel like a gym session think that you can inspire a generation of women to take up sports.’“
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