‘I’ll be thinking about pulling out of WBBL’

'I'll be thinking about pulling out of WBBL'
India vice-captain Smriti Mandhana is considering pulling out of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) to manage her workload and to keep herself fit for international commitments.

For Mandhana, 2022 started with an ODI tour of New Zealand in February in the lead up to the ODI World Cup in the same country in March. That was followed by domestic white-ball tournaments in India in April and May before the Indian team played ODIs and T20Is in Sri Lanka in Jun-July. Later in July and August, India played five T20Is in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where they finished with a silver medal, and Mandhana has been in the UK ever since, first for the Women’s Hundred to represent Southern Brave who finished runners-up, and then for the international white-ball games against England, which started with a T20I series on September 10.

“I think more than the mental part, it’s about managing a little bit of physical part,” Mandhana said in a press conference from Derby. “Definitely I’ll be thinking about pulling out of WBBL because I don’t want to miss out on playing for India or having any niggles when I play for India because I want to give my 100% when I play international cricket. So definitely I’ll be thinking about playing or pulling out of Big Bash.”

Mandhana took pains to add that she wasn’t really complaining about the volume of cricket she’s had to play because this is the kind of schedule women cricketers have wanted for years.

“I have been on the road for a while now,” she said. “Post the one-day World Cup, I have been on the road with the domestic and the tournaments you mentioned [the Sri Lanka tour, the Commonwealth Games, the Women’s Hundred]. I just try to tell myself that because of Covid we haven’t really played a lot of cricket and we really hoped that we came back and start playing cricket.

“And now I can’t be complaining that we have a lot of cricket on the platter. As a woman player we always wanted this sort of schedule for us. I’m really happy to be playing so much cricket and I’ve had my family over, like my mom is over here and she was here for the Hundred as well. So that also helps to be in a good mindset and the team-mates have been just amazing. It feels like we’re a family together.”

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