'You have to remember why you started playing cricket, because you love the game.'
Tennis legend Sania Mirza doesn't know much about cricket but as an elite athlete for the last two decades, she feels she can help Royal Challengers Bangalore women cricketers to deal with the mental aspect of things in the inaugural Women's Premier League.
Sania has been roped in as mentor by RCB for the WPL, starting in Mumbai on Saturday with the opening clash between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians.
RCB, led by India opener Smriti Mandhana, will open their campaign against Delhi Capitals on Sunday.
"I know nothing about cricket. I thought (when I was made mentor) what I am going to do, what am I going to talk to the girls. I am recently retired, last week actually. So I was thinking what's my next step in life. So my next step was try and help women athletes around and in India," Sania said in the video posted by RCB on Twitter.
"In any sport, to help with the mental aspect of things which I have been through for the last 20 years," Sania said.
Asked by a player how hard it was for her was to retire, Sania said: "I was actually ready. I have a son who is four and honestly the last one year has been a struggle. I had three surgeries. I just though it was good to go out on top. I just wanted to stop."
Sania said as mentor her role will be to help RCB in their journey towards maiden WPL title.
"I was in individual sport, so photo shoot, media attention everything I handled on my own, so I thought okay I can actually give something to the girls," she said.
"It's normal to feel the pressure but you just have to know how to deal with it, block the noise a little bit and Indian media is tough."
Stating that struggle is part and parcel of every sportsperson's life, Sania reminded the RCB players their goals behind taking up the sport of cricket.
"There is struggle in everything. We didn't used to get courts, we used to get cow dung based courts. We didn't have coaches. The coaches who were there were not experts. Then there is normal struggle of girls," she said.
Sania said champions are the ones who win even when situations are adverse.
"Our job as an athlete is to inspire the next generation. You are only as good as how you perform on that day. The champions are one who are not winning all the time, the champions are one who are winning when they are not playing well.
"You have to remember why you started playing cricket, because you love the game," Sania said.