Indian tennis icon Sania Mirza, who played her last Grand Slam at the Australian Open last month, was roped in by the Royal Challengers Bangalore team as their mentor in the inaugural Women’s Premier League.
“It is a pleasure for me to join the RCB women’s team as a mentor,” the winner of six Grand Slam and 43 WTA titles said in an RCB statement.
“Indian women’s cricket has seen a tectonic shift with the Women’s Premier League, and I am really looking forward to being a part of this revolutionary pitch,” Mirza said in a statement issued by the franchise.
“RCB and its brand philosophy perfectly resonate with my vision and outlook as that’s how I have approached my playing career and it’s also how I see contributing to sports post my retirement.
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“RCB has been a popular team and much followed team in the IPL over the years. I am immensely happy to see them building a team for the Women’s Premier League…
“It will push the women’s sports to new heights in the country, open new doors to women cricketers and help make sports the first career choice for young girls and young parents with a girl child,” she added.
Mirza retired from the sport after the Australian Open earlier this year, where she and her partner Rohan Bopanna finished runners-up in the mixed doubles event.
She has announced that the ATP Dubai Open later this month would be her swansong tournament as she’s expected to join the franchise after that.
On the appointment of Mirza as the mentor, Rajesh V Menon, head and vice president of RCB said, “We are glad and honoured to welcome Sania Mirza as the mentor of the RCB women’s team. She is the perfect role model with her success stemming out of her sheer hard work, passion, and determination, despite many challenges in her playing career.
“Sania is someone our young generation looks up to and she can motivate, and encourage our team as she herself has been an uber-competitive player who understands how to overcome challenges and handle pressure at various situations at the highest level of sports.”
RCB has built a strong team, acquiring 18 players, including some big names in women’s cricket like Smriti Mandhana, Australia’s Ellyse Perry and medium-pacer Megan Schutt, New Zealand captain Sophie Devine, England skipper Heather Knight and South African all-rounder Dane Van Niekerk along with India under-19-star Richa Ghosh, during the WPL auction on Monday in Mumbai.