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Updated March 5th, 2024 at 16:41 IST

Smriti Mandhana hopes Delhi matches Bengaluru’s ‘crowd energy’ for WPL leg

The Bengaluru leg, comprising of 11 matches, concluded with RCB defeating UP Warriorz by 23 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday night.

RCB Captain Smriti Mandhana ahead of WPL 2024
Smriti Mandhana | Image:PTI
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Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday said she is looking forward to seeing how the crowd in the national capital embraces the Women’s Premier League, after playing in front of a packed stadium in Bengaluru during the tournament’s first leg.

The second season of the WPL is being held at two venues. The Bengaluru leg, comprising of 11 matches, concluded with RCB defeating UP Warriorz by 23 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday night. The caravan now rolls to New Delhi from Tuesday.

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The fans in Bengaluru not only turned up in large numbers for RCB's matches but also for the other teams.

''We'll see if the Delhi crowd can match the energy of the Bangalore crowd. We have seen men's cricket here, I had come in 2016 to watch a match and the crowd was similar and the atmosphere was like this. The way people have supported me has been great to see,'' Mandhana told Jio Cinema.

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Mandhana said looking at the reception in the first leg of WPL got and the massive turnouts at the Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai which hosted the league last year, it seems that ''women's cricket is winning''.

''As a women's cricketer, at that moment, I think women's cricket has won. I am saying this not just about Smriti Mandhana or RCB, I feel like women's cricket is winning.'' ''Last year, Mumbai had a good turnout. Bangalore was crazy, especially for our matches. It was great watching people come and support not just the home team but also the others (teams)." 

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''They call RCB the most loyal fanbase. We saw it this time. We couldn't even step out in Bangalore for the last 15 days — it's that good. It's a win for women's cricket and the entire fraternity,'' Mandhana added. Mandhana also heaped praise on her opening partner Sabbhineni Meghana, whose 164 runs in five games at a strike rate of 120.58 places her second after the RCB skipper in the list of highest run-getters this season.

Mandhana said she cannot take the credit alone in Meghana's success. "I can't take any credit; the way she has come back is amazing. I discussed this with her after the auction and told her that I had full faith in her, after what she had done on the domestic circuit," she said.

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''I had a similar season, so what could I even say? I just had this conversation with her that, 'I know your strengths; your strength is that you can hit a six any day. Other than that, whatever is not your strength, just leave that to me'. She's working very hard and I can see that," Mandhana added.


 

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Published March 5th, 2024 at 16:41 IST

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