Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) announced star Indian opener Smriti Mandhana as the captain of the women's team ahead of the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023.
The left-handed India batter Smriti Mandhana was signed in the recent auction held in Mumbai for Rs 3.40 crore, the highest price for a player in the WPL auction.
On announcing Smriti Mandhana as the captain, Prathmesh Mishra, Chairman RCB, said: "Smriti is central to our Play Bold philosophy and cricketing plans. We have handed her the leadership role, and we are confident that Smriti will lead RCB to greater heights."
On her role as the RCB women's team captain, Smriti Mandhana said: "It is such a great feeling to see Virat and Faf to speak so much about leading RCB and I would like to thank RCB management for giving me this amazing opportunity. I am looking forward to receiving all the love and support from you fans who I am told are the best in the World. I promise you to give my 100 per cent to lead RCB to success in WPL."
Mandhana is a premier batter in women's cricket and has made a massive impact in the T20 format over the last decade. An opener, Smriti has made 2,661 runs from 113 WT20Is, averaging 27.15 and with a strike rate of 123.19.
Faf du Plessis, the RCB men's team captain, welcomed women to the Play Bold fold, and said: "It has been a great couple of months for RCB, firstly getting a Women's Cricket team and then assembling a really strong team.
I am very confident that our Women's team Captain has all the attributes to lead RCB. All the very best Smriti Mandhana, see you at the games."
Virat Kohli, the former RCB captain whose association with the team began 16 seasons ago, welcoming Mandhana into the red and gold fold said: "A captain is not just a leader of the group but he is someone who creates a culture and carries the legacy forward by earning the respect of everyone around him. Faf did a tremendous job by helping each and everyone to grow and excel under his leadership. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing under him. Now it is time for another No 18 to lead a very special RCB Team in the Women's Premier League. Go well Smriti (Mandhana) you will have the support of the best team and the best fans in the world."
Smriti has also been a much-sought-after player in the T20 circuit, making appearances for Brisbane Heat, Sydney Thunder (Women's Big Bash League), Western Storm (Kia Super League) and Southern Brave (The Hundred).
Smriti is also a highly decorated player, winning the ICC Women Cricketer Of The Year 2021, for scoring 855 runs in 22 matches in 2021. She is also an Arjuna Award winner in 2018.
(With Inputs from ANI)