“I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of last year,” says Smriti Mandhana

The inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League was a grand success. The Royal Challengers Bangalore bagged the services of the star Indian opening batter and vice-captain Smriti Mandhana for 3.40 CR in the Inaugural editions of the WPL. She holds the record for the most expensive player in the history of the Women’s Premier League so far. She was appointed as the skipper of the franchise for the inaugural edition.

Smriti Mandhana. PC: Twitter
Smriti Mandhana. PC: Twitter

They had a season to forget as they lost their first five games on the bounce finding themselves in the knockout situation very early on in the tournament, despite of the squad containing the likes of Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine, Heather Knight, Renuka Singh and including their skipper Smriti Mandhana. They eventually managed to get a couple of victories against UP Warriorz and Gujarat Giants in their campaign in the Inaugural edition of the tournament.

The 2nd edition of the WPL will commence on 23rd February 2024 which is just a few days away. All the players from their respective franchises have started to join their respective training camps in Bangalore ahead of the 2nd edition of the Women’s Premier League that will take place in two cities this time around, Bangalore and Delhi. RCB released a few international stars the likes of Dane van Niekerk, Erin Burns, Megan Schutt etc. Some fresh new overseas stars include Georgia Wareham, Sophie Molineux and Kate Cross alongside Nadine de Klerk who came in as a replacement for Heather Knight who opted out of the tournament courtesy of her international commitments.

“It is very important that we respect the backing we are getting, and also try to win the trophy for our fans who supported us last season.” Skipper Smriti Mandhana speaks about putting on an improved show in the 2nd edition of the WPL.

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“I would definitely want it to be better than the first season. From RCB’s point of view, quite a few players were released and we brought in new players. So, the balance has improved for sure, and we are hoping to live up to our potential,” skipper Smriti Mandhana speaks about having a better balance to the squad and performing to their potential in the upcoming 2nd edition of the WPL.

She recently led the West Zone to the final in the Senior Women’s Inter-Zonal One Day Trophy on 9th February, earlier this month. However, they ended the tournament as the runners-up of the tournament courtesy of their 3-wicket defeat against Central Zone led by skipper Sneh Rana in the final. She scored 203 runs at a strike rate of 95.30 and an impressive average of 50.75 in four innings for West Zone.

She was also the skipper of Maharashtra in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy in October-November last year. Her side failed to qualify for the knockout stages, however, she had an impressive season with the bat as she scored 246 runs at an impressive strike rate of 152.79 and an impressive average of 49.20 in 6 innings for Maharashtra.

“It is very important that we respect the backing we are getting, and also try to win the trophy for our fans who supported us so much last season.” the RCB Smriti Mandhana speaks about the importance of delivering a much-improved performance in the upcoming edition and give their best to clinch a coveted, their maiden trophy in an attempt to bring a moment of joy on the faces of their fans.

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(Quotes sourced from Sports 18, Jio Cinema).

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