Smriti Mandhana, the opening batsman for the Indian Women’s Cricket team has done so much for women’s cricket. For one, she became the first Indian woman cricketer to make it to ICC’s Women’s Team of the Year. The women’s team of the year is an award that acknowledge the outstanding performances of women cricketers over the time span of 12 month period. Announced in December last year, the news made echoes in India.

Everyone has certain goals for themselves, and you do go through such phases but you can’t just forget your goals. If you are feeling down, your goal should keep you going

She’s an inspiration for generations of women in sports, and says, “Everyone has certain goals for themselves, and you do go through such phases but you can’t just forget your goals. If you are feeling down, your goal should keep you going.” Mandhana, a great believer in self-belief says that anything can happen if you truly believe in yourself, “To be able to achieve your dream – any dream, not just cricket – you need self-belief to go all the way and perform”

Women’s cricket has never had more prominence than it does today. Of course, it is still nowhere near the men’s cricket team has achieved, but with milestones like Smriti’s, we’re hoping that women’s cricket does get the momentum and success that it deserves.

Also read: Jhulan Goswami Is Now Highest ODI Wicket-Taker In Women’s Cricket

Here are a few facts about Smriti Mandhana that you probably didn’t know:

1. Smriti Mandhana was only 9-year-old when she started playing for Maharashtra’s U-15 team. Talk about #lifegoals!

2. At the age of eleven, she progressed to the U-19 team for Maharashtra.

3. Smriti’s first international debut was when she was just 16, and she got recognised because of her great talent and ability in the game.

4. In 2013, Smriti scored a double hundred in an ODI. This was when she was playing for Maharashtra against Gujarat. Her score was an undefeated 224 off 150 balls.

5. When Smriti was 15, she decided to give up cricket, only to pick it up again a year later. (Good decision)

6. She is the second Indian women’s cricketer who has signed a one-year contract with Brisbane Heat for the Women’s Big Bash League.

7. Smriti’s comeback (of 90 runs) after a break because of her knee injury helped India win the ICC Women’s World Cup against England on 24th June. Another great milestone for Team India.

8. Smriti scored her maiden international hundred (102 off 109 balls) during the second ODI game of India’s tour of Australia in 2016.

9. Smriti is only 20-year-old, and off the field she is a quirky and a mischief-maker and loved by her team.

10. Her family is closely involved with her cricket. Smriti’s dad is in charge of her cricket programmes, her mother takes care of her diet, and her brother helps her practice by bowling to her in the nets.

We wish her good luck!

Also read: Challenges Faced By Female Athletes

Read more stories by Nikhita Sanotra