Smriti Mandhana happy to have an extra year to prepare for the World Cup

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Smriti Mandhana plays a shot against Australia. @ ICC

postponed the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup that was scheduled to happen in New Zealand early next year to 2022 citing the teams might not have enough time to prepare for the event due to the impact of COVID-19.



“We were anyway preparing well since last year for the World Cup had it not been postponed,” Mandhana told IANS. “However, yes, now we have got an extra year for the World Cup to prepare. So now things will be more sorted.”



The last international match that India played was the epic final of the T20 World Cup against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 8. Since then, they have not been able to participate in any international match due to the pandemic. Multiple tours have been cancelled including India’s tour to England. However, Mandhana believes that this has not affected the players from training individually and maintain their fitness.



“It is a true fact that we have not played any cricket since the Women’s T20 World Cup final, but we all have begun with our training during the lockdown itself. Each one of us is keeping our fitness and performing skill work at home,” said Mandhana.



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The 24-year-old does not feel that women’s cricket has been impacted more by the pandemic than the men’s game. “Well, I can’t say that it (Covid-19 pandemic) has impacted women’s cricket more,” she said.



“Women’s cricket got a good jump after the T20 World Cup in Australia. I feel that if the women’s cricket would have happened right after the World Cup then obviously it would be better for the game. Now we have to again start performing and get that interest back.”



On the possibility of becoming India captain, Mandhana said that it is something that would happen to the person when it has to. “Well, the goal right now for me is to only win matches for my nation and nothing else,” said Mandhana, who was Harmanpreet Kaur’s deputy during the T20 World Cup.
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