When India’s women’s cricket team travelled to England for the World Cup in 2017, not many were confident of its chances. But the side went on to reach the final of the tournament.
Over the years, the women cricketers have become household names, and as another T20 World Cup beckons, Smriti Mandhana believes that a World Cup title will be boost women’s cricket further.
“When Kapil Dev’s team won the World Cup in 1983, it changed Indian cricket. Similarly, one World Cup win will change women’s cricket. We are looking forward to that moment,” Smriti told Sportstar on the sidelines of Power fitness collection launch on Wednesday.
Having featured in the Women’s Big Bash League earlier, Smriti knows the challenges of playing in the Australian conditions. “I will try and enjoy my game and keep things simple. If you are cool and calm, results will come your way. That’s my target for the T20 World Cup,” Smriti said.
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With youngsters Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma and Richa Ghosh in the squad, India has depth in its batting. Smriti considers it as an advantage for the side. “Richa was really exciting in the Challengers Trophy. She was in my team, the kind of clarity she had was really exciting. Shafali and I try and play each others game the way it is meant to be played,” Smriti said.
Last week, the BCCI released the central contracts for cricketers. While men’s team players had the top bracket of Rs 7 crore per year, the highest category was Rs 50 lakh for women cricketers.
“We need to understand that the revenue which we get is through men’s cricket. The day women’s cricket starts getting revenue, I will be the first person to say that we need the same thing. But right now, we can’t say that,” she said.
“I don’t think any of the team-mates is thinking about this gap because the only focus right now is to win matches for India, get the crowd coming in, get the revenue. That is the thing which we are aiming for and if that happens all other things are going to fall in place. And for that, we need to perform,” she said.
Indian team leaves for Australia on Thursday. Prior to the World T20, the team will play a tri-series, involving Australia and England, in Canberra from January 31.