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Baseline facilitates Bat Sponsorship deals for Cricketers Smriti Mandhana and Himanshu Rana with Hero MotoCorp

MUMBAI: ‘Acche din’ continue for the Indian women’s cricket team. TOI has learnt that, just a few days after Harmanpreet Kaur became the first Indian woman cricketer to sign up a bat deal (with CEAT), her team-mate, Smriti Mandhana, too has landed a similar, three-year endorsement contract with Hero.

India’s forthcoming limited overs series in South Africa, Mandhana will thus, sport the hero logo on her bat. In the past, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly and dashing batsman Virender Sehwag have endorsed the Hero logo on their bat. Amongst the present-day cricketers, India offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin and batsman Robin Uthappa have a deal with the motor company.

“I’m delighted to be one of the few cricketers in India endorsing and playing with Hero bats. I look forward to doing well for India,” Mandhana told TOI on Thursday. The 21-year-old has played two Tests, 32 ODIs (933 runs, Avg: 30.09, 2 hundreds and six fifties) and 27 T20Is (424 runs, Avg: 17.66, strike rate: 96.58) for India.

The talented, exciting, young batswoman was a key member of the Indian team which reached the final of the ICC World Cup in England last year, slamming 90 (against England) and an unbeaten 106 (against West Indies). She also played in the Big Bash for Brisbane Heat last year, and was the captain of India Blue team which won the Women’s Challenger Trophy a couple of weeks back at the Brabourne Stadium here.

Meanwhile, Hero has also signed up Himanshu Rana, a member of the India Under-19 team, which is currently playing in the World Cup in New Zealand. Rana is thus the second member of the India Under-19 team after skipper Prithvi Shaw was signed up by MRF before departing for the junior World Cup. The Haryana batsman had led the India Colts’ side in the Asia Cup last year, and was the captain of the ‘India Blue’ side which won the Under-19 Challenger Series Trophy. A middle-order batsman, Rana has hit three hundreds and six half-centuries for the India Under-19 team. His name also features in the IPL auction, scheduled for Bangalore on January 27 & 28.

“I am very proud to be part of Hero Motocorp family. Playing for India is every cricketer’s dream and to have such an association builds every player’s confidence as well,” said Rana.