The Indian women’s cricket team has stamped their authority in the shortest format of the world cricket by reaching their maiden final of a T20 World Cup in February this year. So far, they have reached the final twice in the 50 over World Cup in 2005 and 2017.
However, keeping the growth in both formats, swashbuckling India opener Smriti Mandhana feels a full-fledged women’s IPL can be helpful for India in future.
The 23-year-old opener also praised the efforts that the BCCI is putting in to make it a reality. She also thinks this kind of tournament can bring a pool of young players who can be a part of the national team and help them win the World Cups as well.
Smriti Mandhana on Women’s IPL
“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’. “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 specially for the World Cups.”
The opener hopes the gap between the domestic and international cricket in women’s cricket in the country can be bridged soon since women’s cricket in Indian has been growing massively. Even, head coach WV Raman feels that the side has the potential to become the best team in the upcoming three years.
However, the vice-captain of the team in the T20 format, Smriti Mandhana also said that they have grown a lot as a team especially after the 2017 World Cup.
She even mentioned that T20 format is not one of their strengths earlier but they have done reasonably well in the last two World Cups where they ended as a semi-finalist and finalist in 2018 and 2020 T20 World Cup respectively.
Smriti Mandhana is hopeful of winning World Titles
She added, “Not just this one in Australia, but the one we played in West Indies was a very good World Cup, unfortunately, we lost to England. What Raman sir said will happen. But I can’t say in how many years maybe next year or in 3-4 years or 5 years but I’m certain it will happen.”
Smriti Mandhana is considered as one of the pillars in the batting of India who has tasted the sky-high success in a very short period of time. Unfortunately, she had a poor season i the World Cup. Even the captain, Harmanpreet Kaur also failed to do well. Notably, the youngster Shafali Verma had a great tournament.
On the other hand, Mandhana has recalled an incident she shared with Indian men’s team captain Virat Kohli. Even that also inspired her a lot.
She shared, “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.'”