WPL was the one piece missing from women’s cricket : Smriti Mandhana
New Delhi : India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana believes the Women’s Premier League (WPL) was the one piece which was missing from women’s cricket in the country and said it will have a tremendous impact on the growth of cricket globally.
The inaugural edition of the WPL will be played in Mumbai from March 4-26. A total of 22 matches will be played with the Brabourne Stadium and D.Y. Patil Stadium playing hosts to the marquee tournament comprising Gujarat Giants, Lucknow Warriorz as well as Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore franchises.
The player auction will be held on February 13 in Mumbai. “I’m really excited about the first-ever Women’s Premier League. We have been waiting for this for a really long time.
I think the build-up has been amazing and I’m really excited at how things have turned out.” “It’s going to be massive in terms of growing bench strength for the Indian team and I don’t think only in India, globally it’s going to be massive for women’s cricket.
IPL is a brand, and similarly, WPL will definitely boost women’s cricket globally.” “We have seen what Women’s Big Bash (played in Australia) has done for players from different countries.
WPL will do the same,” she was quoted as saying by JioCinema. For the WPL player auction, Smriti, the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2018 and 2022 winner, is commanding a base price of Rs 50 lakh along with her India teammates, captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma and Shafali Verma.
In the auction, out of 409 players, 246 are Indians and 163 are overseas players of which 8 players are from associate nations. The total number of capped players are 202, uncapped players are 199.
A maximum of 90 slots are available with the five teams, with 30 being slotted for overseas players. In February 2019, Smriti scored the fastest fifty for India in Women’s T20Is off only 24 balls against New Zealand.
She also became the youngest T20I captain for India when she led the team against England in the first T20I in Guwahati as Harmanpreet was ruled out due to an injury.
She further explained how the forthcoming league will expose her to a new environment and how she will mentally and physically progress as a cricketer.
“We have been part of a lot of franchise cricket in the last 4-5 years and it has always helped us understand our game and try to get used to the new environment in which we actually play in different teams.”
“WPL is also going to help us understand this is how I have to be in a new environment, or this is how the team needs to perform. So I am sure that sort of experience to build a women’s PL team will be a really exciting thing and will help me a lot grow as a player and be more mature.”
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