Born on July 18, 1996, in Bombay, Smriti Mandhana is the left-handed Indian batswoman who made her International debut in August 2014 against England at Wormsley Park.
She is an inspiration for generations of women in sports. According to her: “Everyone has certain goals for themselves, and you do go through such phases but you can’t just forget your goals. If you are feeling down, your goal should keep you going.”
Here are the ten interesting facts about Smriti Mandhana that every cricket lover should know:
1.) Smriti belongs to a family that already had cricketing skills in their blood. Her father and brother played district level cricket for Sangli and her brother even featured for Maharashtra state Under-16s tournaments.
2.) At the age of 9, she was selected in Maharashtra’s Under-15 team. At eleven, she was picked for the Maharashtra Under-19 team.
3.) In 2013, Smriti etched her name in the record books after she became the first Indian women cricketer to score a double hundred in a one-day game. She smacked 224 off 150 balls in the West Zone Under-19 Tournament, at the Alambic Cricket Ground in Vadodara while playing for Maharashtra against Gujarat.
4.) She first skipped her class 12 board exams for World T20 Cup 2014, missing an entire academic year, and then had to forego admissions into the college course she wanted to enroll for a tour of England.
5.) Focused and serious on the field, she is quite a prankster. She also loves listening to the songs of Arijit Singh, reading books and binge eating on street food.
A bat, autographed by Rahul Dravid for her older brother Shravan, is her prized possession and can be always be found in her kit though she doesn’t use it .
6.) When Mandhana started playing, she wanted to dominate with the bat like her idol Matthew Hayden did, but remodelled herself around Kumar Sangakkara’s style once her coaches told her timing, and not brute force, was her forte. Still, she was delighted when her exploits in Australia made Hayden praise her batting style.
7.) In September 2016, Mandhana was signed up for a one-year deal with Brisbane Heat for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), and along with Harmanpreet Kaur, became one of the first two Indians to be signed up for the league.
8.) Her family is closely involved with her cricket. Smriti’s dad is in charge of her cricket programmes, her mother takes care of her diet and her brother helps her practice by bowling to her in the nets.
9.) Mandhana was the only Indian player to be named in the ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016.
10.) She is the youngest Indian and overall third in the world to score a century in ICC Women’s World Cup. Mandhana achieved this feat during an ODI against the West Indies in June 2017, where she smashed unbeaten 103 runs with the help of 13 fours and 2 sixes.