New Delhi: India opening batter Smriti Mandhana after winning the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of 2021 on Monday said that she is looking forward to 2022 with a clear focus on winning the World Cup in New Zealand.
Mandhana has had a fabulous 2021 across all formats of the game. She scored 855 runs in 22 internationals at an average of 38.86 which included one century and five half-centuries.
Commenting on receiving the honour, Smriti Mandhana, said: “I am truly honoured for receiving the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2021. I am grateful to my teammates, my coaches, my family, friends and fans who believed in my potential and supported me in this journey. A recognition of such high class from the global governing body of cricket in an exceptional and difficult year will motivate me to continue to better my game and contribute to Team India’s success going forward.”
“I look forward to 2022 with a clear focus on winning the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand as we continue to prepare as a team and unit,” she added.
India will depart for New Zealand to lock horns with the White Ferns in one T20I and five ODIs, beginning February 9 in Napier. And then the Mithali-led side would compete in the 50-over World Cup.
After the game against Pakistan (March 6) in the Women’s World Cup, India will square off against New Zealand (March 10), West Indies (March 12), England (March 16), Australia (March 19), Bangladesh (March 22), and South Africa (March 27) in the group stage.
India’s opening batter Mandhana enjoyed a great last year. In the limited-overs series against South Africa where India won two of the eight matches at home, Mandhana played a major role in both wins. She made 80 not out as India chased down 158 in the second ODI that helped them level the series and scored 48 not out in the win in the final T20I.
Mandhana also scored 78 in the first innings of the one-off Test against England that ended in a draw. In the ODI series against Australia, Mandhana scored 86 in the second ODI. She compiled a brilliant century in the only Test against Australia, which was also the first of her career, and was awarded the Player of the Match.