Smriti Mandhana, India’s T20I vice-captain and opening batter, is keen for the Women’s Cricket Super League to begin, she said on Sunday (August 3). The left-hander, who had a record-breaking opening season for Western Storm last year has been very vocal about the positive impact foreign leagues have had on her career, and how the WCSL in particular, helped her build confidence in her skills as a T20 player.
“It was good to be in a new environment and I think it makes you a better player if you experience different set-ups,” Mandhana told westernstorm.co.uk. “This group is amazing, and we had such a good time last year, so hopefully I can play well and help contribute to the team’s success.”
She reiterated that she would be available for the entire duration of the tournament. “There is a one-month window in my India commitments so if we make it to the final weeks of the competition, I will be available. There’s a lot of hype around the KSL this year because it is the final one. Hopefully we can be the ones to win it,” said Mandhana who was the leading run-getter in the tournament in 2018.
Trevor Griffin, the head coach of Western Storm, too, revealed that he is pleased with the team’s pre-season preparations and that the group is raring to go.
“We’ve achieved everything that I wanted to during this period. We’ve had five practice games and I’m really grateful to Somerset, Gloucestershire and Devon for helping us with our preparation. The girls have trained really hard and we’ve built a really good team environment ahead of the competition,” he said.
“It’s the final KSL, so everyone will be doubly keen to win it. Our first job has to be to reach Finals Day. That has to be our initial focus. We have to prepare well for our first game and then take each game in turn. The fixtures come thick and fast, but our initial focus is on getting to Finals Day.”
Griffin also reckoned that the quality of players who come through the County programmes has gone up and they are all fighting for places in the side. Western Storm begin their WCSL season with a clash against Loughborough Lightning on Tuesday (August 6).