India vs Pakistan Women’s World Cup 2017: A 20-year-old Indian cricketer who plays the role of an opener for the Indian Women’s cricket team, Smriti Mandhana belongs to a progressive family from Sangli who believe in providing equal support to girls or boys – her brother was a cricketer too. Smriti Mandhana’s family has the main role behind her being the most talked about women’s cricketer today. She was selected for the Maharashtra U-15 side through an inter-state trial, by the time she turned 9. Recalling the day, her mother Smita said, “I was concerned how she would cope with the 15-year-olds…so I asked her to take up a sport like a tennis.” Beating all odds, her mother was not excited about her skills in the kitchen, she said, “If not cricket, she would have been stirring her favourite paneer butter masala in the kitchen,” as quoted in an Indian Express report. Smriti played a spectacular role in Team India leading up to the match against Pakistan today. While she got out cheaply today, this did not cost her team much as India heaped a humiliating defeat on arch rivals by as much as 95 runs!
Since her focus was on cricket, Mandhana was not regular at schools, but with the support of the people around her she finished school and is currently enrolled in B.Com course from Sangli’s Chintamanrao College of Commerce.
According to the report, Smriti has been able to pursue here dreams with the backing of her father and brother. Her brother Shravan, who was a leg-spinner and a useful lower-order batsman and has represented Maharashtra juniors, having failed to follow his dreams supports her sister. Mandhana used to accompany her brother when he used to play. “These journeys were probably what had piqued her interest in the game. I would hang a leather ball and would ask her to hit it with a straight bat. She started off with 50 consecutive hits, and in no time stretched herself to 1000,” Shravan said. He further talked about his sister’s determination on her bad days and said, “The kind of grit and determination she had displayed during her rehab was incredible.”
Former cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar couldn’t help but appreciate her inning during the ICC Women’s World Cup that is currently going on. He tweeted, “Smriti Mandhana taking the WWC by storm…A real star in the making.”