With the start of this year’s KIA Super League now just days away, we caught up with opening batter Smriti Mandhana and Head Coach Trevor Griffin to get their thoughts ahead of the tournament.
Western Storm begin their quest for glory with a match at Loughborough Lightning on Tuesday, and Trevor has revealed that the team are raring to go.
“I’m really pleased with how things have gone in preseason,” he said. “We’ve achieved everything that I wanted to during this period. We’ve had five practice games and I’m really grateful to Somerset, Gloucestershire and Devon for helping us with our preparation. The girls have trained really hard and we’ve built a really good team environment ahead of the competition.
“It’s the final KSL, so everyone will be doubly keen to win it. Our first job has to be to reach Finals Day. That has to be our initial focus. We have to prepare well for our first game and then take each game in turn. The fixtures come thick and fast, but our initial focus is on getting to Finals Day.
“I think that the teams are much more competitive this year and that is testament to what the competition has achieved over the last few years when it comes to driving the women’s game forward. We’re now seeing the quality of players coming through the County programmes who are challenging for places.
“I think this is the strongest squad that we’ve had, we’re ready to go and we can’t wait for that first game.”
Smriti is also keen for the KSL to begin and is looking to build on what she achieved with the bat in 2018.
“Last year was a great experience and I’m really excited to be back this year,” she said. “It was good to be in a new environment and I think it makes you a better player if you experience different set-ups. This group is amazing, and we had such a good time last year, so hopefully I can play well and help contribute to the team’s success.
“I was always going to be coming back to Western Storm if I was available to play in the KSL. There is a one-month window in my India commitments so if we make it to the final weeks of the competition, I will be available.
“There’s a lot of hype around the KSL this year because it is the final one. Hopefully we can be the ones to win it.”