Team India opener Smriti Mandhana, who is currently representing the Sydney Thunder in the ongoing edition of the Women’s Big Bash League, believes that the experience the players garner in Australia will prove to be invaluable when they go back and re-join the national team, particularly with a World Cup looming.
Mandhana is part of a strong Indian contingent participating in the WBBL this year, that also includes the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues and Shafali Verma, and the talented opener believes the time spent in Australia will benefit the national team, particularly with there being no competitive franchise cricket back home.
“This year we had a window and we were already here and had done our 14 days quarantine. It’s better to stay and play some more cricket rather then go back.
“We have a World Cup coming up and we don’t have a BBL in our country, so it will be of benefit and a lot of experience for the eight girls in the comp and that experience will definitely count when we are back playing for India,” smh.com.au quoted Mandhana as saying.
The 25-year-old has previously featured in the WBBL, having represented Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes, but this year she made her ‘Hundred’ debut in England for the Southern Brave franchise. Mandhana revealed that with the schedule freed up, she was always keen on playing as much cricket as possible, across the world.
“It doesn’t feel like a new team or anything. I can’t wait play more matches and rest of the tournament,” she said about her experience so far with the Thunder.
“Back in England, coach Trevor [Griffin] has been asking me for three years to come over. I told him when the schedules were accommodating for me to come over I would come and play so we are so happy that this year we could actually manage and I could come over.”
Teenager Shafali Verma, who is representing the Sydney Sixers, meanwhile claimed that overseas leagues always prove to be a great learning experience for the players involved.
“When you come to a foreign league we always something just learn from every series or every league,” Shafali said.