Indian Cricketer Smriti Mandhana to play in Kia Super League, England’s premier women’s domestic T20 tournament

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  1. Indian Cricketer Smriti Mandhana and an ace opener is at the door of becoming the first Indian to play in the Kia Super League, England’s premier women’s domestic T20 tournament. She feels that playing in this league will help her to prepare well for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 which is scheduled in December.

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At the #BCCI awards… Feeling bright and LIT in my new shoes from @bata.india ✌

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Smriti Mandhana will be a part of Gloucestershire-based Western Storm, that has players like England’s captain Heather Knight and Anya Shrubsole.

In an interview with the First post, Mandhana said, “After the England series (in April) we got a window of one month, so that was like an early offseason”. Further, she said, “The KSL is a good way to play matches because getting quality matches ahead of the World Cup is really important for me as a player to perform well for India”.

Further talking about the skills she revealed, “I’ll have to start practicing all the boundary shots and other shots in swinging conditions. In ODIs, you take your time and then go for the shots. In T20s you don’t have that, you have to go after it from ball one. To do that in swinging conditions is something I’ll be working on”.

“I’ll have to add preparation for lofting balls that are swinging,” she added.

Mandhana has already played in Women’s Big Bash League for Brisbane Heat, but she did not manage to play well and could only manage to score 89 runs in the 2017 season. “That time I was just 18,” said Mandhana. “But now after 2-3 years I would be better prepared. Staying alone, doing the preparation all alone, that would be a bit easier”.

BCCI’s Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2017 Awarded Mandhana said, “As an overseas player, they will expect me to do well. So to learn to handle the expectations, that will help me in the World Cup (T20), because people expect a lot from me in the World Cup.”

She hopes that If they win games for India, all possibilities open up.

Facts suggest that all three Indians who have played in foreign leagues so far are batswomen. No league has picked up one of India’s spin talents, yet.

Mandhana also revealed how she got into the Kia Super League, she said, “Once BCCI checked that it’s not clashing with international commitments, they spoke with the team management, who felt it would be a good opportunity for me. By the end of the England series, the BCCI got back to me with the NOC. Then I started communication with the Storm manager.”

Mandhana came into headlines in 2017 when India’s run to the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup. She stole the limelight with knock out of 90 and 106* in India’s opening two matches in the tournament.

Published by Soniya Kaur on 15 Jun 2018

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