sania mirza smriti mandhana rcb sportstiger

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Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Smriti Mandhana opened up about being pushed to play tennis by her parents based on team mentor Sania Mirza’s success in a recent interview. Ahead of their opening Women’s Premier League game against the Delhi Capitals, Mandhana and Mirza shared a chat which was shared on RCB’s social media channels.

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In this interview, the pair spoke about their sporting careers, performing in high-pressure situations and being part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise for this huge tournament. Speaking about one such anecdote from their conversation, Mandhana talked about how her family was encouraging her to take tennis instead of cricket, based on the glittering success achieved by Sania Mirza. 

Mandhana, addressing Mirza, said, “Somewhere I think you were the torchbearer (for women athletes), growing up I remember there being a trend of everyone wanted to be Sania Mirza.” Smriti further spoke about her mother pushing her to pursue a career in women’s tennis. 

She said, “I remember my mom telling me why don’t take up tennis, I was 9 or 10 as there so much scope in women’s tennis.” Then the Indian international stated that her passion for cricket was too much and hence she couldn’t make the transition. Reacting to this Mirza jokingly said, “Thank God!”

Watch the video here:

Further ahead in the interview, Sania Mirza asked Mandhana about wearing number 18 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore which has Virat Kohli, number 18, who has been one of the best players in cricketing history. In reply to this question, Mandhana said that she has had this number for over 10 years now and joked about how this was the criteria on which RCB decided to bid for her in the auction.

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