Watching Smriti Mandhana play is constant, calm, and undeterred
Watching Smriti Mandhana play is exactly what you would expect—the vice captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket team is constant, calm, and undeterred.
Under her helmet, she gave a cheeky side smile as she hit her first century in the World Cup Final in 2017.
Her 13-year coach, Anant Tambvekar, explains, “She practices as per the conditions before a tour.”
She practices with tennis balls that are wet if she is going to Australia.
She practices early in the morning when it is cold, windy, and rainy if she is going to be in England.
He cites natural talent as the foundation of her cricket innings thus far, citing that as the reason behind her run-making spree and her ranking in the Top 10 worldwide.
She is on a rare 10-day vacation when I meet her.
She is in Sangli, where she has witnessed her nephew’s first steps and bat (thanks to a cricket-loving grandfather), and she is now in Mumbai to attend a close friend’s wedding.
I adore the time off after nine months on the road when I can actually go home and spend time with everyone.
Being with family resembles a detox for me
” Cricket, on the other hand, never stops.” I think anything I’m is a direct result of them.
It wasn’t as common when I started playing as it is now.
Now that we are on television, it is simpler for girls to approach their parents and express their desire to play cricket.
Her parents made her life easy, sometimes even shielding her from relatives who would judge her.
I never had the impression that I was “permitted” to play. It was just a normal thing to do, and anyone, male or female, could do it.
Names like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, the all-rounder Deepti Sharma, and batters Jemimah Rodrigues and Mandhana, grew in volume.
The girls in blue were now the focus of the dinner party conversations—between bites of biryani, bouncers and their backs were discussed.
However, Mandhana still aspires to be able to speak to a room full of girls speaking openly about cricket.
Even now, the majority of people attending sporting events are men.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made the announcement in October that male and female Indian cricketers will now receive equal match fees.
India became the second nation in the world, after New Zealand, to adopt pay parity for its cricketers with the much-hyped move.
This is a bold move for a sport that is fraught with gendered semantics and outdated pay models.
The grey suit-clad and brooch-wearing left-handed batter on the cover of Vogue India will likely be the poster on the bedroom wall of many young girls and boys—a tear-jerker depiction of how dreams can be realized.
Smriti Mandhana is aware of this and forever grateful.