Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have announced Smriti Mandhana as the captain of their women’s team for the upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023. The announcement was made on Saturday through a special video message from RCB’s former skipper Virat Kohli and current men’s team captain Faf du Plessis.
In the announcement video, Kohli said, “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.” Faf du Plessis also shared his confidence in Mandhana’s leadership abilities and wished her luck for the league.
Mandhana, who is currently the vice-captain of the Indian women’s team participating in the Women’s T20 World Cup, expressed her gratitude towards the RCB team management for trusting her with the leadership role. “I would like to thank RCB management for giving me this amazing opportunity. I’m looking forward to receiving all the love and support from you fans, who I’m told are the best in the world. And I promise you to give my 100% to lead RCB to success in WPL,” she said.
The left-handed opener was also the most expensive buy in the first-ever Women’s Premier League auction that took place on February 13. RCB and Mumbai Indians were involved in an intense bidding war for Mandhana, and RCB eventually secured her for INR 3.6 crore.
Mandhana’s leadership skills have been on display in the past, as she has previously led the Indian women’s team on 11 occasions, winning all of the last 5 games in which she has captained the team. The talented cricketer has also been a consistent performer for India in both ODIs and T20Is, with several match-winning performances under her belt.
The Women’s Premier League is set to take place later this year, with six teams competing against each other in a total of 23 matches. The league is set to feature some of the top women’s cricketers from around the world, and the addition of Mandhana as captain of RCB is sure to add to the league’s excitement.
The announcement of Mandhana as captain has been widely welcomed by cricket fans and experts, who have praised RCB for their decision. With her leadership skills and impressive record as a cricketer, Mandhana is seen as the perfect choice to lead RCB’s women’s team in the WPL.
This announcement also highlights the growing focus on women’s cricket in India, with the BCCI taking several initiatives in recent years to promote the sport. With the success of the Women’s T20 World Cup in 2020 and the introduction of the Women’s Premier League, women’s cricket is set to take centre stage in India in the coming years.
As for RCB’s women’s team, with Mandhana at the helm, the franchise will be hoping to put up a strong performance in the Women’s Premier League and possibly even lift the trophy. With a talented squad at her disposal, Mandhana will be looking to lead from the front and make a mark as a captain in the league.