Smriti Mandhana ©WesternStorm

India opener Smriti Mandhana is all set to rejoin Western Storm for the upcoming KIA Super League. Western Storm confirmed the news in the release on Tuesday.

Smriti Mandhana had a splendid first season with Western Storm last year where she scored 421 runs at 60.14 in just 9 innings and was adjudged the player of the tournament as she finished it as the leading run-getter. She scored a century there as well and helped her side to reach the final for three consecutive seasons.

After the news came out, Mandhana said in an official statement released by Western Storm, “I enjoyed my time with Western Storm last year and I’m looking forward to coming back in 2019. We played some outstanding cricket last year and hopefully, we can go a little further this season and lift the trophy.”

“Everyone involved with Western Storm made me feel so welcome and, if given the opportunity, I was always going to come back. The culture around the team, from top to bottom, was very good and I know that everyone will be looking for success once again,” she added.

“The squad has a good mix of experienced players plus young players who have a point to prove. I hope that I can score the runs that will help to contribute to a successful year for Western Storm,” she further expressed.

Heather Knight and Smriti Mandhana ©WesternStorm

Mandhana is currently the number 1 batter in the ODI cricket and number 3 batter in T20I cricket by the ICC. She has scored more than 1900 runs in 50 ODI matches which came at an average of 42.41. She has also played in 58 IT20s, scoring 1298 runs with the strike rate of 119.08.

“Everyone knows what Smriti is capable of and she was absolutely sensational for us last year,” said Western Storm Head Coach, Trevor Griffin. “Her performances on the field were superb and really set the tone for what we were trying to achieve in each match.”

“It wasn’t just the volume of her runs that was impressive, it was the manner in which they were scored that really caught the eye. She was exceptional off the field as well. Her team ethic and the way in which she goes about her training will no doubt inspire some of our younger players, who will certainly learn from someone like her,” he further added.

Mandhana will join by her India teammate Deepti Sharma, who will also represent Western Storm. Another India opener Jemimah Rodrigues will represent Yorkshire Diamonds in the tournament.

Western Storm earlier had announced that England captain Heather Knight and pace-spearhead Anya Shrubsole will represent the team for the 2019 season. The tournament is scheduled to start from August 6.