WATCH, WPL | Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis unveil Smriti Mandhana as new RCB captain
Smriti Mandhana had led the Trailblazers to glory as skipper in 2020|
Royal Challengers Bangalore have always been associated with the biggest names in the world of cricket, be it Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, or Rahul Dravid. The women's team hence was no different, as the franchise released a video showcasing the passing on of the baton to Smriti Mandhana for WPL.
Smriti Mandhana was officially revealed as the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the inaugural edition of the Women's Premier League through a social media post on Saturday. The Indian vice-captain was the first buy of the entire auction, ending up as the highest-paid player in the event with a whopping sum of INR 3.4 crores. Mandhana, 26, has represented India in 116 T20Is, scoring 2,661 runs at an average of 27.15 and a strike rate of 123.19. The batter has also led the Women in Blue in the shortest format on 11 occasions, emerging victorious six times while suffering five losses.
Mandhana's experience would be key in spearheading a star-studded squad with a wealth of experience at hand. Three regular national team captains would be playing under her at the marquee tournament in the form of Kiwi Sophie Devine, Proteas Dane van Niekerk, and Englishwoman Heather Knight at the auction, with the trio having a combined captaincy experience of 123 games in T20Is alone. The Bangalore-based franchises also managed to secure the services of Ellyse Perry, the most capped Australian female cricketer of all time with 136 T20I appearances to her name albeit with no international captaincy experience.
Mandhana had previously captained the Trailblazers in four seasons of the Women's T20 Challenger Trophy, a predecessor to the WPL, and even led her side to the title in 2020 after having lost the final in the inaugural season in 2020. The opener's announcement came through words of encouragement from Virat Kohli, the former RCB skipper in whose honour Mandhana wears the number 18 on her back, and Faf du Plessis, the present skipper of the franchise in the Indian Premier League.
From one No. 18 to another, from one skipper to another, Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis announce RCB’s captain for the Women’s Premier League - Smriti Mandhana. #PlayBold #WPL2023 #CaptainSmriti @mandhana_smriti pic.twitter.com/sqmKnJePPu— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) February 18, 2023