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Who is Smriti Mandana? The amazing female cricketing talent nominated for ICC women's cricketer of the year

by Riya Mishra

Date & Time: Jan 23, 2023 11:00 AM

Read Time: 4 minute

Indian cricket has been one of the most popular sports that mesmerises the hearts of all the spectators. Within this sport, Indian female cricket team is another aspect which showcases the bold young female spirits of the country. Nowadays, the female cricket team is growing equally popular to the one of the males. However, many Indian female cricketers have made their way in this field, but mentions should be made of a young female spirit, who is no other than Smriti Mandhana.

Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana is an Indian female cricketer who plays for the Indian women's national team in cricket. In June 2018, the Board of Control for Cricket in India, simply known as BCCI, regarded her as the Best Women's International Cricketer. In December 2018, she received an award from the International Cricket Council (ICC) with the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best female cricketer of the year. On 30 December 2021, she was appointed as a nominee for the ICC Women's T20 Player of the Year. In December 2021, she along with Tammy Beaumont, Lizelle Lee, and Gaby Lewis was nominated for the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year. In January 2022, she was awarded by the ICC the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year.

Smriti Mandhana was born on 18 July 1996 in Mumbai with Smita Mandhana as her mother and Shrinivas Mandhana as her father. At the age of two, her family shifted to Madhavnagar, Sangli in Maharashtra, she completed her schooling there. Her father and her brother, Shravan, played cricket at the district-level, for Sangli. She got the inspiration to take up cricket after watching her brother play at the Maharashtra state Under-16s tournaments. At the age of nine, she was selected for Maharashtra's 
Under-15 team for the first time. At eleven, she was selected for the Maharashtra Under-19s team.

Her family is seen to be involved in her activities related to cricket. Her father Shrinivas is a chemical distributor and takes care of her cricket program while her mother Smita is in charge of her diet, clothing, and other organizational aspects. Her first breakthrough came in October 2013, when she became the first Indian woman who achieved a double hundred in a one-day game. She played for Maharashtra against Gujarat and she scored an unbeaten 224 off 150 balls in the West Zone Under-19 Tournament, at the Alembic Cricket Ground in Vadodara.

In the 2016 Women's Challenger Trophy, Smriti Mandhana scored three half-centuries for India Red in as many games and helped her team to win the trophy by making an unbeaten 62 off 82 balls in the final games against India Blue. With 192 runs, she got recognized as the tournament's top scorer. In September 2016, she was signed up for a one-year deal with Brisbane Heat for the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), along with Harmanpreet Kaur. She played against Melbourne Renegades in January 2017, she injured herself while fielding after bowling the final ball of her over hurting her knee. She was ruled out of the rest of the tournament which ended having scored 89 runs in 12 innings.

In June 2018, Mandhana signed up for Kia Super League defending champions Western Storm and became the first Indian to play in the league. In 2021, Southern Brave drafted her for the inaugural season of The Hundred. She played for them in 7 games and scored 167 runs after which she left them for India's tour of Australia.

In September 2021, Sydney Thunder's squad named her for the 2021-22 Women's Big Bash League season. She scored a hundred in the season, which equals her record for the highest-ever score of the tournament. In February 2022, she was retained by the Southern Brave for the 2022 edition of the Hundred. Smriti Mandhana is the top run-scorer across all forms of India as she carried on her strong run of form in international cricket for the second year in a row. She displayed her skills in the white-ball formats, scoring the most runs for India in T20Is with 594 runs and ODIs with 696 runs, respectively.

Smriti Mandhana can be recognized as one of the top-leading female cricketers in India. With her remarkable skills and approaches to securing the scores in cricket, she has come a long way in the field of Indian cricket and her contributions to this field can be worth noting.

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