Meet Smriti Mandhana: The Richest female cricketer

Women’s cricket has arrived in India and that too with a bang. Smriti Mandhana received the highest winning bid during the Women's Premier League (WPL) inaugural auction for Rs 3.4 crore

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Women’s cricket has arrived in India and that too with a bang. Smriti Mandhana received the highest winning bid during the Women’s Premier League (WPL) inaugural auction for Rs 3.4 crore, which is more than what IPL clubs paid for top men’s cricket players like Ajinkya Rahane, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, England’s Adil Rashid, and Australia’s Adam Zampa.

Mandhana said: “It’s such a big movement for women’s cricket. I think this is history. I think the whole thing is exciting and I am saying it’s an exciting time ahead,” she said.

Here are the most expensive female cricketers bought at the WPL auction:

1.            Smriti Mandhana (Rs 3.40 cr to RCB)

2.            Ashleigh Gardner (Rs 3.20 cr to GG) & Natalie Sciver (Rs 3.20 cr to MI)

3.            Deepti Sharma (Rs 2.60 cr to UP Warriorz)

4.            Jemimah Rodrigues (Rs 2.20 cr to DC)

5.            Beth Mooney (Rs 2.00 cr to Gujarat Giants) & Shafali Verma (Rs 2.00 cr to Delhi Capitals)

6.            Pooja Vastrakasr (Rs 1.9o cr to MI) & Richa Ghosh (Rs 1.90 cr to RCB)

7.            Sophie Ecclestone (Rs 1.8 cr to UP Warriorz) & Harmanpreet Kaur (Rs 1.80 cr to MI)

8.            Ellyse Perry (Rs 1.70 cr to RCB)

9.            Yastika Bhatia (Rs 1.5 cr to MI) & Renuka Thakur (Rs 1.5 cr to RCB) & Marizanne Kapp (Rs 1.5 cr to DC)

10.         Tahila McGrath (Rs 1.4 cr to UP Warriorz) & Devika Vaidya (Rs 1.4 cr to UP Warriorz)

Who is Smriti Mandhana?

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Smriti Mandhana

Smriti Mandhana is an Indian cricketer who plays for the Indian women’s cricket team as an opening batter. She was born on July 18, 1996, in Mumbai, India. Mandhana made her debut for the Indian team in 2013 and has since become one of the key players in the team.

Mandhana has achieved several notable milestones in her career. In 2016, she became the youngest Indian to score a century in an ODI, at the age of 19. She has also scored two centuries in T20I matches. In 2018, she was named the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year, becoming the second Indian woman to win these awards after Mithali Raj.

Mandhana has also had a successful career playing in various domestic T20 leagues. She has played for the Brisbane Heat in the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia and for Western Storm in the Women’s Cricket Super League in England.

Off the field, Mandhana is known for her advocacy for gender equality in cricket. She has spoken out about the need for better pay and more opportunities for women’s cricket and has been vocal in promoting the sport in India. In 2019, she was named as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year, becoming the first Indian woman to receive the honor.

History of Women’s cricket in India

Australia U 25 tour of India in 1975 1
India’s Women’s cricket team with then PM Indira Gandhi

Women’s cricket has a long and rich history in India, dating back to the early 1970s. The Indian women’s cricket team has seen many highs and lows over the years, but has remained a consistent and competitive force in international cricket. Here is a brief overview of the history of women’s cricket in India.

The early years:

Women’s cricket in India started in the early 1970s, with the first recorded match being played in 1973. The match was played between two teams from Mumbai and was played at the Cooperage Ground. The first official international match was played in 1978, when the Indian women’s cricket team played an exhibition match against an Australian team at the MCG.

Early successes:

The Indian women’s cricket team saw some early successes in the 1980s and 1990s, including a series win against England in 1986 and reaching the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2005. The team also won the Asia Cup in 2004 and 2005.

Rise to prominence:

The Indian women’s cricket team achieved new heights in the 2010s, with players like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami becoming household names in India. The team reached the final of the Women’s World Cup in 2017, where they lost to England in a closely contested match. The team also won the Asia Cup in 2016 and 2018, and reached the semi-finals of the Women’s World T20 in 2018.

Development of domestic cricket:

The development of domestic women’s cricket has been key to the growth of the Indian women’s cricket team. The Women’s Cricket Association of India was formed in 1973, and has since been replaced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The BCCI has taken steps to improve the quality of domestic women’s cricket, including the introduction of the Women’s T20 Challenge, which features three teams and is played alongside the Indian Premier League.

Despite the successes of the Indian women’s cricket team, there are still challenges to be overcome. Women’s cricket in India faces issues like lack of infrastructure and funding, as well as societal barriers. However, there are also many opportunities for the growth of women’s cricket in India, with the BCCI making concerted efforts to improve the standard of domestic cricket.

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