Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana is an Indian cricketer who represents the Indian women's national team. She plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Women's Premier League. In domestic cricket, she represents the Maharashtra cricket team.
Last Updated: October 27, 2023
Smriti Shriniwas Mandhana, often simply known as Smriti Mandhana, is a prominent figure in Indian cricket, celebrated for her incredible batting prowess and numerous accolades. Born on July 18, 1996, in Mumbai, India, she has risen to become a key player for the Indian women’s national cricket team. This article chronicles Smriti Mandhana’s remarkable journey, from her early life to her illustrious cricketing career.
Early Life and Cricketing Roots
Smriti Mandhana was born into a Marwari family in Mumbai to parents Smita and Shrinivas Mandhana. Her family later moved to Madhavnagar, Sangli, in Maharashtra, where Smriti completed her schooling. Cricket was a family affair, with her father and brother, Shravan, both playing cricket at the district level for Sangli.
Smriti’s journey into the world of cricket was ignited when she watched her brother play at the Maharashtra state Under-16s tournaments. Her talent was evident, as she was selected for the Maharashtra Under-15 team at the tender age of nine. By the age of eleven, she had earned a place in the Maharashtra Under-19s team.
What sets Smriti apart is the unwavering support of her family in her cricketing endeavors. Her father, Shrinivas, oversees her cricketing program, while her mother, Smita, takes charge of her diet, clothing, and organizational aspects. Even today, her brother, Shravan, bowls to her in the nets, contributing to her continued growth as a cricketer.
Domestic Cricket Triumphs
Smriti Mandhana’s journey to stardom had a significant breakthrough in October 2013 when she achieved a remarkable feat. She became the first Indian woman to score a double-hundred in a one-day game, scoring an unbeaten 224 runs off 150 balls while playing for Maharashtra against Gujarat in the West Zone Under-19 Tournament at the Alembic Cricket Ground in Vadodara.
Her exceptional performances continued in the 2016 Women’s Challenger Trophy, where she scored three consecutive half-centuries for India Red and played a pivotal role in her team’s victory in the final.
In September 2016, Smriti Mandhana made her mark internationally by signing a one-year deal with the Brisbane Heat for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), becoming one of the first two Indian players to participate in the league. However, her journey faced a setback when she suffered an injury during the WBBL, forcing her to withdraw from the tournament.
In June 2018, she added another feather to her cap by signing for the defending champions, Western Storm, in the Kia Super League, thus becoming the first Indian woman to play in the league. Later that year, she joined the Hobart Hurricanes’ squad for the 2018–19 Women’s Big Bash League season.
In 2021, Smriti Mandhana was drafted by Southern Brave for the inaugural season of The Hundred. Her impressive performance in seven games, where she scored 167 runs, underscored her versatility and adaptability in various formats of the game.
In the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction held in February 2023, Mandhana’s star continued to rise as she was acquired by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping ₹3.4 crores, making her the highest-paid player in the auction. Additionally, she was elected as the captain of the team, solidifying her leadership abilities.
Smriti Mandhana’s journey in international cricket has been equally remarkable. She made her Test debut in August 2014 against England at Wormsley Park, making notable contributions with scores of 22 and 51 in her first and second innings, respectively. Her partnership with Thirush Kamini in the latter innings played a pivotal role in India’s victory.
Her maiden international century came in the second ODI against Australia in 2016 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, where she scored 102 runs off 109 balls. She was the lone Indian player named in the ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016.
Smriti’s journey hasn’t been without its challenges. She had to overcome an anterior cruciate ligament rupture during her time at the WBBL in 2017. Yet, she bounced back stronger and made a significant impact in the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, helping India reach the final.
Notably, Smriti Mandhana achieved the distinction of being the first Indian female cricketer to score a century in both ODIs and Tests in Australia. She ended the year as the leading run-scorer in Women’s ODIs, with an impressive average of 66.90. These accomplishments earned her the prestigious ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year awards.
In 2019, she made history once again by becoming the youngest T20I captain for India when she led the women’s team against England. Her leadership and performance continued to inspire her team and fans alike.
In May 2021, Smriti Mandhana received the International Woman Cricketer of the Year award at the CEAT International Cricket Awards, cementing her status as a global cricketing sensation. She further solidified her legacy by becoming the third-fastest cricketer, in terms of innings, to score 2,000 runs in Women’s ODIs during the series against West Indies in November 2019.
Her remarkable journey continues as she plays a pivotal role in
India’s cricketing endeavors, aiming to lead her team to further glory. In January 2022, she was named in India’s squad for the 2022 Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and later appointed as the vice-captain of India’s team for the cricket tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Smriti Mandhana’s indomitable spirit, remarkable talent, and numerous accolades make her an iconic figure in the world of cricket, inspiring generations of aspiring cricketers in India and beyond. Her journey serves as a testament to dedication, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence in the sport she loves.