Sm­riti Mandhana, open­ing bat, on World Cup mem­o­ries, be­ing a lefty and that cheat day pizza

India Today - - LEISURE - —with Suhani Singh

You are at the Cricket Club of In­dia. There are only por­traits of male crick­eters on the wall here. How long be­fore a woman gets up there?

I think it will take one or two World Cup tro­phies. We will need to win like the men’s team.

Has life changed af­ter the World Cup last year?

We have to be more ma­ture now in pub­lic. But I don’t feel the pres­sure. People are watch­ing us now, and it’s a good thing; it ex­cites us and mo­ti­vates us to work harder.

There is a wide gap in the salaries of men’s and women’s cricket teams.

The rev­enue men’s cricket gen­er­ates is mas­sive com­pared to women’s cricket. BCCI has in­creased our salaries. It will in­crease if we win matches and per­form well. People will come and watch us play, and that way we gen­er­ate rev­enue too.

What’s your guilty plea­sure?

Food. On a cheat day, I love eat­ing bhel or a pizza. I used to love cook­ing be­cause I used to love eat­ing. I learned how to cook when I was in fourth stan­dard. I even took Pun­jabi cook­ing classes in the sixth.

Does your brother Shra­van still bowl to you?

Yes, he does. He’s a leg spin­ner. As a kid, my brother was my only idol. What­ever shots I learned was from watch­ing him bat. He was a leftie, so I too be­came one.

To­tal num­ber of pages 84 (in­clud­ing cover pages)

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