In a strategic move to balance her commitments, India’s vice-captain Smriti Mandhana has made the decision to skip the upcoming Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) for the second consecutive year. This choice stems from her eagerness to focus on the domestic cricket season, in order to bolster her performance on the domestic front.
WBBL Omission for Domestic Cricket Focus
Following a triumphant victory in the Women’s Hundred with Southern Brave, Smriti Mandhana has elected to forego participation in the WBBL overseas draft for the second consecutive year. In the previous season, she opted out to manage her workload and prioritize her international commitments with the Indian team, amid a packed international calendar.
For the forthcoming season, Mandhana’s name was notably absent from the list of 122 players in the inaugural WBBL overseas draft. Instead, she is contemplating representing Maharashtra in the Indian domestic cricket season, which is scheduled to run from October 19 to January 26. This period will coincide with the WBBL.
Juggling International and Domestic Commitments
The scheduling conflict arises as the WBBL is set to commence on October 19, extending until December 2. This timeline partially clashes with India’s upcoming international home season, which features series against South Africa, New Zealand, England, and Australia. Mandhana plays a pivotal role in the Indian squad, serving as both the vice-captain and a key all-format player.
India’s women’s domestic cricket season is slated to begin with the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy, scheduled from October 19 to November 9. Subsequently, the Senior Women’s Inter-Zonal Trophy will take place from November 24 to December 4. Following a brief interlude, the Senior Women’s One-Day Trophy will span from January 4 to 26.
A Noteworthy Career
Mandhana’s illustrious career includes participation in three out of eight WBBL seasons, during which she represented Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, and Sydney Thunder. The strategic omission from WBBL allows her to focus on her responsibilities with the Indian team and nurture her form in the domestic circuit.
Her recent role as the most expensive player in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) further underscores her significance in the cricketing landscape. Mandhana’s prowess extends to her captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore, despite facing challenges in the past season.
With a determination to fine-tune her skills and make meaningful contributions, Smriti Mandhana’s calculated decision showcases her commitment to striking a balance between her domestic and international aspirations.