When Smriti Mandhana’s name was announced, it was a true bidding war between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. But at Rs 3.4 crore, it was RCB who had the last laugh in the room. RCB’s Director of Cricket, Mike Hesson during the break, talked about the possibility of Mandhana leading the franchise during the inaugural edition of the tournament.
“Smriti got plenty of captaincy experience. She is one of the players who know the conditions well, so that’s highly likely,” said Mike Hesson, the RCB director of cricket.
Alongside Mandhana, the franchise also bagged the veterans – Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry – which Hesson suggests that would help the franchise, in terms of leadership and experience.
“For leadership, you need senior players around you. In the first set, we have got some highly experienced senior players,” said Hesson.
While not giving away the process, Hesson insisted that the franchise was pretty committed to getting a couple of players, and reckoned that they are pretty ‘happy’ with the quality of players that they have acquired during the Auction.
“It would probably help towards the back end. Everybody knows Smriti Mandhana and Ellyse Perry. We were pretty committed to a couple of people we wanted to get. We are happy to get quality players like Smriti, Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry in the first group was a dream for us really,” he said.
Unlike men’s IPL, there are not a whole lot of data available with women’s cricket. Hesson shed light on the process, stating that having a dedicated talent scouting team was a necessity. RCB also got pacer Renuka Singh Thakur during the second set, at Rs 1.5 crore.
“You can’t just look at your phone and search. It is about going out there and getting a number of eyes around there, to have your information. Find out about the strike rate and watch a number of players. We want to get our data, video and all that.”