The bespectacled teenager gave up science in school, and a probable career in hospitality, and has no regrets whatsoever.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has named swashbuckling Indian opener Smriti Mandhana as the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2021. Mandhana had a fabulous 2021 across all formats of the game.
She scored 855 runs in 22 internationals at an average of 38.86, which included one century and five half-centuries. In the limited-overs series against South Africa where India won two of the eight matches at home, Mandhana played a major role in both wins.
She made 80 not out as India chased down 158 in the second ODI helped them level the series and scored 48 not out in the win in the final T20I.
Mandhana also scored 78 in the first innings of the one-off Test against England that ended in a draw. In the ODI series against Australia, Mandhana scored 86 in the second ODI.
She compiled a brilliant century in the only Test against Australia, which was also the first of her career and was awarded the Player of the Match.
Commenting on her award, Smriti Mandhana said: “I am truly honoured for receiving the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2021.
I am grateful to my teammates, my coaches, my family, friends and fans who believed in my potential and supported me in this journey.
Recognition of such high class from the global governing body of cricket in an exceptional and difficult year will motivate me to continue to better my game and contribute to Team India’s success going forward.
“I look forward to 2022 with a clear focus on winning the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand as we continue to prepare as a team and unit.”
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