New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) Star opener Smriti Mandhana on Wednesday apologised to the cricket fans in the country after the Indian eves failed to clinch their first ICC title at the recently-concluded Women’s T20 World Cup.

After going unbeaten in the group stage and entering the final post a washout in the semi-finals, the Women in Blue faltered in the summit clash in front of a record-breaking attendance for a women’s cricket match of 86,174 as Australia downed India by 85 runs at the MCG on March 8.

“I would like to thank all those who filled the MCG on the 8th of March and the billions who supported us throughout. Really sorry that the results didn’t go in our favour but I’m overwhelmed by the support that we’ve been receiving and that kind of support is what keeps us going,” Mandhana said in an Instagram post.

The left-handed opener, who didn’t have a great outing in the tournament and managed just 49 runs in the four innings he played, further vowed that the team will work harder and come back stronger in the times to come.

“I also wanted to take a moment to appreciate the efforts and the hardwork the entire team and support staff have put in throughout this World Cup. Really proud of this young team and I promise you all on behalf of my team that we will definitely work harder and come back stronger,” she said.

Former Australia speedster Brett Lee recently said that India’s downfall in the Women’s T20 World Cup final was “not the end for them” and they will be coming back stronger in the times to come.

“As for India, it was a disappointing night for them but they’ll certainly be back — this is not the end for them, this is just the start,” Lee wrote in his column for the ICC.

“They’d never played in a final before and we saw in Melbourne how vital that experience is, it takes a long time to get settled and by the time they did, unfortunately the game was gone.”

Playing in front of a crowd like that takes plenty of getting used to so they’ll be better for it, and should take a lot of heart from the way they played in Australia,” he added.

–IANS

aak/bbh

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