The India women cricket team’s senior opener and vice-captain, Smriti Mandhana, is gradually gaining an increasing fan following across the world. Mandhana’s fans also now hail from China, as was proved during India’s Asian Games 2023 final in Hangzhou where a fan came with a poster to show his love and support for “The Goddess”.
The India women team clinched the Gold Medal by defeating the Sri Lanka women team in the women’s Asian Games 2023 cricket tournament final by 19 runs on Monday at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou.
While regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur captained the side only in the final, she had to miss out from the quarter-final vs Malaysia and semi-final vs Bangladesh because of her 2-game suspension handed to her by the ICC for her outburst against the umpires and her conduct with the Bangladeshi players earlier this year in a match in Bangladesh. Smriti Mandhana led India in the quarter-final and the semi-final, in which India beat Bangladesh.
Chinese fan brings poster for Smriti Mandhana “The Goddess”; he goes viral
A Chinese cricket fan by the name of Wei Junyu hogged headlines and went viral when he brought a poster that read “Mandhana The Goddess”. This fan is learned to have traveled from Beijing, the capital of China, to see Smriti Mandhana bat in the final vs Sri Lanka in Hangzhou.
As the 25-year-old’s picture with the poster went viral, media people caught up him soon and he spoke of his craze about Mandhana.
“I love Smriti Mandhana as a cricketer. She is a strong player and great to watch when in rhythm. I am here to watch her bat live,” Wei said.
Wei, a student of geology at the Chinese University of Geoscience, had to conduct an overnight journey from Beijing to Hangzhou to watch the elegant India opener bat. Mandhana didn’t disappoint as she top-scored in the final with 46 runs.
“I came today (Monday) morning and will take the overnight train back after the match. I don’t mind travelling as long as I can watch Mandhana play.”
“I liked the way she batted. She became my favourite cricketer instantly. Since then, I have keenly followed the game,” he added.