WPL 2023: Royal Challengers Bangalore announce Smriti Mandhana as captain of women’s team

Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday announced Smriti Mandhana as the captain of their women’s team for the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023.

The left-handed India batter Smriti Mandhana was signed in the recent auction held in Mumbai for INR 3.40 crore, the highest price for a player in the WPL auction.

Former India skipper Virat Kohli revealed Mandhana’s name as RCB captain on social media on Saturday.

RCB’s social media channel posted a video message from Kohli.

“From one No. 18 to another, from one skipper to another, Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis announce RCB’s captain for the Women’s Premier League — Smriti Mandhana,” the franchise wrote on Twitter.

“Now it’s time for another Number 18 to lead a very special RCB team in the Women’s Premier League. Yes, we are talking about Smriti Mandhana. Go well Smriti, you will have the support of the best team and the best fans in the World,” Kohli said in the video.

Concurred the captain of the RCB men’s team Faf du Plessis.

“I’m very confident that our women’s captain has all the attributes to lead RCB. All the very best, Smriti Mandhana. See you at the games,” RCB captain Plessis added.

On her role as the RCB women’s team captain, Smriti Mandhana said: “It is such a great feeling to see Virat and Faf speak so much about leading RCB and I would like to thank RCB management for giving me this amazing opportunity.

“I am looking forward to receiving all the love and support from you fans who I am told are the best in the World. I promise you to give my 100% to lead RCB to success in WPL,” she was quoted as saying in a release on Saturday.

Mandhana is a premier batter in women’s cricket and has made a massive impact in the T20 format over the last decade. An opener, Smriti has made 2661 runs from 113 WT20Is, averaging 27.15 and with a strike rate of 123.19.

Du Plessis, the RCB men’s team captain, welcomed women to the Play Bold fold and said: “It’s been a great couple of months for RCB, firstly getting a women’s cricket team and then assembling a really strong team. I am very confident that our Women’s team Captain has all the attributes to lead RCB. All the very best Smriti Mandhana, see you at the games.”

Kohli, the former RCB captain whose association with the team began 16 seasons ago, also welcomed Smriti Mandhana into the red and gold fold.

“A Captain isn’t just a leader of the group but he is someone who creates a culture and carries the legacy forward by earning the respect of everyone around him. Faf did a tremendous job by helping each and everyone to grow and excel under his leadership. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing under him. Now it is time for another No 18 to lead a very special RCB Team in the Women’s Premier League. Go well Smriti (Mandhana) you will have the support of the best team and the best fans in the world,” Kohli was quoted as saying in the release.

Smriti Mandhana is a much-sought-after player in the T20 circuit, making appearances for Brisbane Heat, Sydney Thunder (Women’s BBL), Western Storm (Kia Super League) and Southern Brave (The Hundred).

She is also a highly decorated player, recently winning the ICC Women Cricketer Of The Year, for scoring 855 runs in 22 matches in 2021. She is also an Arjuna Award winner in 2018.

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