WPL: Beginning of a new era in women’s cricket

Indian cricket will usher in a new era with the launch of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) where women players will get a chance to enjoy big money and glamour, while gaining the experience they need to take their game to the next level. The 21-match tournament will begin with the match between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians on Saturday. While Mumbai will be led by Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Gujarat will be led by wicketkeeper Beth Mooney.

WPL will be about players like Sneha Deepti and Jasia Akhtar along with veteran and established players. Sneha would like to prove that her passion has not diminished even after becoming a mother. So the same J&K Jasia is known for hitting big shots. She would like to get fame like Umran Malik from this tournament. Harmanpreet, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues and Shefali Verma can get the skills to win close matches from this league.

Adorned with these players, the Indian team has been struggling in big matches of global tournaments. This T20 league was long awaited. It includes a total of five teams and 87 players. In this, a player as young as 15 years will also get a chance to play with the legends of the world and share the dressing room. The tournament will have a total of 21 matches including two knockout matches. All these matches will be played in two stadiums of Mumbai.

WPL has created excitement in the world of cricket with five franchise teams being sold for a total of Rs 4,669 crore. This includes the purchase of the Gujarat franchise by the Adani group for Rs 1,289 crore. A total of Rs 59.50 crore was spent by the five franchises in the player auction, which will not only improve the financial condition of the players but also ensure a better future for the youngsters. India’s star batsman Smriti was the most expensive player in the players’ auction.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) bought him for Rs 3.4 crore in the auction held in Mumbai and as expected made him the captain. The franchise is yet to win an IPL title but has relied on big names from the world of cricket for the women’s team, just like the men’s team. The team also includes veterans like Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry. Mumbai Indians (Rs 912.99 crore) is the second most expensive team in the league.

The Harmanpreet Kaur-led side would like to repeat the success of the men’s team by winning the IPL (Indian Premier League) title five times. Along with Harmanpreet, the team includes England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt and fast bowler Issy Wong, New Zealand’s Amelia Kerr, South Africa’s T20 World Cup finalist Chloe Tryon, West Indies captain Hayley Matthews and Australian fast bowler Heather Graham.

Harmanpreet, who has played the most 150 T20 Internationals, hopes that this tournament will be successful in bridging the gap between the Indian team and Australia and England. The Gujarat Giants, captained by champion Australian batsman Beth Mooney, feature Indian stars Harleen Deol, Sneh Rana (vice-captain) and veteran Sushma Verma. They have overseas stalwarts like Australia’s T20 World Cup winners Ashleigh Gardner and Georgia Wareham, West Indies’ Diandra Dottin and England’s Sophia Dunkley.

Former India captain Mithali Raj is also a mentor and advisor to the team. UP Warriors have named Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Alyssa Healy as the captain. The Indian all-rounder is the vice-captain of the team. The franchisee had bid Rs 2.6 crore for Deepti. She was the second most expensive Indian player. Delhi Capitals will be led by veteran Meg Lanning while Jemima and Shefali are aggressive batsmen in the team.

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