WPL Season 2: Smriti Mandhana ready to lead from the front, says RCB head coach Luke Williams

February 23, 2024
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Smriti Mandhana is ready to lead from the front in their first match of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 season at the M.

Bengaluru, Feb 23 (IANS) Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Smriti Mandhana is ready to lead from the front in their first match of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 season at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday, said head coach Luke Williams and added they are looking forward to playing an exciting brand of cricket.

“It’s been great to spend some time with Smriti over the last ten days. She is practising really well as she is in a really confident and happy space with her cricket and the leadership. So, Smriti is really excited about the season ahead,” Williams said while addressing a press conference ahead of RCB’s first match in Season 2 of WPL 2024.

“Obviously there’s responsibility with captaining and opening the batting, but she’s got plenty of support from the team with lots of experienced senior players to help her and trying to really separate the two roles. Obviously, the captaincy is one part of it, but then at other times, it’s when she’s out there batting it is Smriti Mandhana the batter and trying to be the best batter for RCB she can be. Because if she’s able to do that, we know how much impact that she can provide for our team,” he added.

RCB are raring to go in the WPL Season 2 following an intensive 10-day camp where the players bonded and sharpened their skills, Luke Williams reckoned.

“We’ve had a really productive 10-day camp leading into the WPL. It was carefully planned and constructed both from a cricketing point of view, but also a culture and team point of view in terms of how we set that up,” he said.

“So, there’s certainly been a combination of different things, whether that’s been nets and fielding and skills training combined with some match simulations where players individually and as a team, getting to understand and learn and practise the particular roles that we think players will face in the tournament. We had one practice match, but as well as the cricket side of things, there’s been a lot of time spent with both planned and unplanned team activities,” he added.

Williams revealed that RCB had utilised their camp to not only work on specific skillsets and match simulations but also to do several activities together that have helped the team gel into a happy, cohesive unit.

“Some interactions include having coffee with players and different team activities. It’s been wonderful to get to know the players a bit better and try to build that connection within our group and there’s that sense of belonging to the RCB tribe. We’re a really diverse group of players. Obviously, we represent RCB, but there are players from all across India and all across the world. So, the 10 days has been really important for us and we’re really looking forward to our campaign starting tomorrow night,” added the head coach.

The team is also looking forward to playing their matches and showcasing their skills at home in front of passionate fans. “We’re really looking forward to our first match. We’ve got five games at home, and we know we’re going to have a really passionate and loyal fan base behind us, so we’re really excited. We really focus on playing an exciting brand of cricket in front of the fans. You’re going to see a team that’s united and really wants to compete,” concluded Williams.

–IANS

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