Mandhana excited by prospect of playing for a medal at CWG

As cricket returns to the Commonwealth Games for the first time since 1998 and the women’s tournament becomes the first multi-sport event, the Indian team feels the excitement. Smriti Mandhana, vice-captain of the Indian cricket team, made his point that the unique experience of playing for a medal is exciting for the Indian team, which is just now preparing to travel to Birmingham.

“Really excited to be part of the commonwealth games. I think it is something very new for me and our team. We’ve never experienced going out and playing a tournament where other sports are also involved. So I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Mandhana said.

“We haven’t had an experience of playing in a commonwealth games, where we’ll strive to get the gold medal because we’ve always imagined us lifting the trophy and trying to put us on a podium where we lift a trophy.

“But now that we have to imagine us going on the podium and getting a medal, I think it is something new and we all are really excited. It’ll be a good experience and a really new experience for all of us, and I am sure that we’re all really going to enjoy and give our best,” she added.

Mandhana said the opportunity to compete in an event like Commonwealth would be a new one. She also noted that the feeling of winning a new medal is exactly what she and her teammates have known for years. In fact, Mandhana believes that that time in the past will serve as a catalyst for her and her team on their way to winning and scrambling for gold in England.

“All the girls are really excited and we all know the feeling. We all know the feeling because we’ve all watched the Commonwealth and Olympics, when the Indian flag goes higher and we hear the national anthem… everyone knows that feeling and definitely we are aiming for gold. I don’t think we’ll look for just a podium finish because when the flag goes higher and the national anthem plays, that’s the best feeling.

“I got goosebumps when Neeraj Chopra got it in the Olympics so definitely we have the opportunity to be there and try and do that. Of course not for the Olympics, but for the Commonwealth. We all are really excited and yeah we know the groups (India, Australia, Pakistan and Barbados), the groups were decided long back so we have our plans for all three so hopefully things work the way we planned,” Mandhana said.

The Indian team has joined the group with reigning T20 world champions Australia, Pakistan and Barbados. As early as July 29, they will begin their campaign against Australia.

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