ENG vs IND: Cricketers around the world have had a rigorous schedule in the recent few months. Many have them have now opted to take a short break in order to rejuvenate. So has India’s vice-captain, Smriti Mandhana. Mandhana decided to opt out of the WBBL’s Season 8 to focus on her international performance. She is also trying to wash off her workload and looking forward to her much-needed break.
Team India has been very busy since the beginning of the year. Mandhana has been an integral part of the squad. They started off with the ODI tour of New Zealand in February and went on to play the ODI World Cup in March. It was followed by the white ball tournaments in May and later the Sri Lanka series in June-July. In August the India team was pretty worked up with the Commonwealth Games and after which, Smriti Mandhana had flown straight to play for the Southern Braves.
8 busy months have got Mandhana rethinking her decision to participate in the WBBL. She said, “I think more than the mental part, it’s about managing a little bit of physical part. Definitely, I’ll be thinking about pulling out of WBBL because I don’t want to miss out on playing for India or having any niggles when I play for India because I want to give my 100% when I play international cricket. So definitely I’ll be thinking about playing or pulling out of Big Bash.”
Coming from a pandemic, where two years were pretty relaxing for the players, they are now feeling the pressure of having to come on the ground and perform in some of the major tournaments. Asia Cup is scheduled to begin in October and later in February 2023, the team will fly off for their T20I World Cup.
Innings Break!#TeamIndia post a total of 132/7 on the board.
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) September 10, 2022
ENG vs IND: Smriti Mandhana happy to be playing so much cricket
Smriti Mandhana further added, “I have been on the road for a while now. Post the one-day World Cup, I have been on the road with the domestic and the tournaments you mentioned [the Sri Lanka tour, the Commonwealth Games, the Women’s Hundred]. I just try to tell myself that because of Covid we haven’t really played a lot of cricket and we really hoped that we came back and start playing cricket.
“And now I can’t be complaining that we have a lot of cricket on the platter. As a woman player, we always wanted this sort of schedule for us. I’m really happy to be playing so much cricket and I’ve had my family over like my mom is over here and she was here for the Hundred as well. So that also helps to be in a good mindset and the teammates have been just amazing. It feels like we’re a family together.”
However, ENG vs IND series is scheduled to end on the 24th of September. After which the players will have to fly for the WBBL and also prep for the Asia cup. All this is a little too overwhelming for the players to handle. As Mandhana said, it is good that their plates are full, but they also require some respite for such monotonous schedules. Many international players have been considering their mental health over the work load they are expected to handle. Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver, the finest England players, decided to pull out of their series against India as they were “emotionally fatigued.”
Various teams are now focusing on their mental well-being as much as they pay attention to their physical fitness. This has created a new trend of adding a sports psychologist to the supporting staff. Harmanpreet recently spoke of their sports psychologist, who guided them through the New Zealand tour and Mandhana seemed to support her captain’s statement.
“Harman rightly pointed out…we had a psychologist Mugdha ma’am with us during the World Cup and she helped a lot of girls,” Smriti Mandhana said. “The way the cricket schedule is right now, many girls will benefit from such a mentor or psychologist in the team. I agree with Harman that such a move will help a lot of girls in the team.”