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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Smriti Mandhana says that her love for cricket began while watching her brother play

Cricketer Smriti Mandhana talks about her brother Shravan Mandhana, who according to her, is the man behind her success.

tabloid Updated: Apr 10, 2019 11:59 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Smriti Mandhana says her brother Shravan Mandhana is her best friend.
Smriti Mandhana says her brother Shravan Mandhana is her best friend.(Instagram/shravan_mandhana)
         

When ICC ODI batting ranking announced Smriti Mandhana as world number one in women’s cricket leaving behind Australians Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, it was definitely a proud moment. And, the first thing Smriti did was call her family. “My parents were super-excited, but my brother (Shravan Mandhana) started pulling my leg. He was like “arrey tujhe kaise mil gaya world no 1, nahin ho sakta yaar….,” laughs the 22-year-old as she narrates the incident. Such is the kind of relationship that this sibling duo share with each other. We caught up with the cricketer recently who credits her brother for her success.

Not many know that Smriti’s love for cricket began while watching her brother play. In fact, she picked up her batting style from him. They are both left-handed batsmen. Though he stopped playing midway, Smriti continued chasing her dream and today, she credits her success to her brother, Shravan.

Read: ODI rankings: Smriti Mandhana, Jhulan Goswami retain top spots

“More than anything else, he is interested in the number of sixes I have hit. He is fascinated by sixes… I started playing at the age of five and I still remember how I would watch him bat closely and would look forward to him bowling to me. There was a time when he had a good number of cricket balls that he won given his good performances in various tournaments, while I did not have any. And those balls are really special as they are signed by seniors and popular cricketers. But he would happily share those balls with me so that I could continue practising,” says the cricketer, who recently led India in T20 series against England.

Ask how Shravan reacts when people come up to her for photos, Smriti says, “He never gets jealous or awkward when people ask me for pictures when we are out. Had the scenario been opposite, it wouldn’t have been easy for me since, since I have always been a cry baby.”

 

Coming to the other half of this duo, Shravan, 26, too, only has good things to say about his little sister. “She always had it in her to make it big,” he says, before adding on a lighter note, “Smriti is that typical younger sister who keeps irritating me. I just wonder when will she grow up.”

Ask Smriti one quality of her brother that irks her and she says, “He bothers me all the time. If I am watching TV, then he wants the remote at that very moment. There are times when I get back home after a long tour and if I’m trying to play the keyboard, he also wants to play it at that very moment (laughs).”

Shravan, who runs a cricket coaching academy in Sangli (Maharashtra), further shares how the duo would often head for long drives and watch movies. “It’s mandatory that we spend quality time with each other. We are best friends. There can be things that our parents might not know about us but there’s nothing that we don’t know about each other,” he adds.

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ

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