The demand for a marquee women’s T20 league along the lines of IPL has been there for quite some time. After a lot of deliberations and planning, the apex cricket body in India BCCI finally announced the Women’s Premier League 2023 (WPL) and D-day is finally here. There have been other popular T20 leagues in women’s cricket globally such as The Hundred or WBBL. However, the Women’s Premier League adds a new dimension to the popularity of the game globally with the cricket-fanatic audience of India and it is expected to revolutionize cricket for girls in India and outside with so many renowned players coming together on a single platform.
Without a doubt, T20 leagues have been very successful in multiple facets of modern cricket, be it marketing the sport, spotting hidden talents, or giving exposure to the players. Women cricketers, especially young Indian girls will like to benefit the most from this three-week-long tournament consisting of five teams.
Here is a preview for all the teams of the Women’s Premier League 2023 along with their probable playing X1:
Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB)
RCB has always been a popular franchise in the IPL and they will look to replicate the fame in WPL as well. Their star players Smriti Mandhana and Elyse Perry are household names for anyone following women’s cricket. Mandhana, who is captaining the side, was the most expensive pick at the WPL auction. Overall, RCB focused on getting some good big hitters such as young Indian wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, Australian Elyse Perry, Sophie Devine, and Heather Knight who are crucial in the shortest format. They also have got probably the best pace bowling lineup in the tournament in the form of gun Indian pacer Renuka Singh Thakur, Meghan Schutt, and Perry. They do lack in terms of finishers in the lower order where Richa will have to do some heavy lifting and they also don’t have experienced spinners where they might struggle in the middle overs.
Mumbai Indians (MI)
Another popular IPL franchise and the most successful one in the history of the tournament, Mumbai Indians are led by the Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in this inaugural edition of WPL. Their auction strategy revolved around all-rounders where they placed bets on West Indian Hayley Matthews, Nat Sciver, Amelia Kerr, Pooja Vastrakar. All these names are very capable match winners in the T20 format. Their batting revolves around a strong core of anchors in the middle order including Sciver, Kerr, and the skipper Harman herself. MI do look weak on paper when it comes to power hitters and they will struggle in scoring big totals. The bowling department also looks a bit inexperienced, especially spinners.
Delhi Capitals (DC)
Australian skipper Meg Lanning who recently led her team to a record sixth title will be leading this side full of T20 superstars. With explosive Indian batters Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodriguez at the top, DC also boasts of young Alice Capsey from England in the middle order. Shafali, Lanning, and Jemimah form the strongest top order in the league, whereas the Capitals have also got the experience of Jess Jonnasen, Radha Yadav, Marizanne Kapp, and Shikha Pandey in the bowling attack. So, overall they are one of the most dangerous sides in the tournament, barring the lack of all-rounders, especially medium pacers and lower-order batting.
UP Warriors (UPW)
The team that looks perhaps the strongest on paper, the Warriors have got the best balance out of all the teams. They have the Aussie wicketkeeper Alysa Healy who is also the captain of the team, star Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma, the world’s current number-one batter Tahlia McGrath, and number-one bowler Sophie Ecclestone. The strength of UP Warriors is their explosive batting line-up starting from Healy at the top to McGrath and Grace Harris in the middle and lower order. They also have the best spin attack comprising Ecclestone, Deepti, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad who will be very significant on Indian pitches. One area where the Warriors might struggle is the pace bowling department where they only have the South African Shabnam Ismail in the mix.
Gujarat Giants (GG)
Being mentored by the former Indian captain and a pioneer in women’s cricket, Mithali Raj, Gujarat Giants focused on getting strong overseas batters at the auction table. They have got Beth Mooney who is leading the side, Sophia Dunkley, Diandra Dottin, and Ashleigh Gardner who are all well-known for their batting prowess in T20 cricket. Gardner, who is currently the world’s number-one all-rounder will play a crucial role with her bowling too where Gujarat have to rely upon young Indian names such as Sneh Rana, Hurley Gala, and Monica Patel. They will also feel the absence of a good leg spinner which is an important component in T20 bowling, especially for taking wickets.
Probable Playing X1 in the Women’s Premier League 2023
|Smriti Mandhana (c)||Yastika Bhatia (wk)||Shafali Verma||Alyssa Healy(c) (wk)*||Beth Mooney(c)*|
|Sophie Devine*||Hayley Matthews*||Meg Lanning(c)*||Shewta Sehrawat||S Meghana|
|Disha Kasat||Nat Sciver-Brunt*||Jemimah Rodriguez||Tahlia McGrath*||Sophia Dunkley*|
|Elyse Perry*||Harmanpreet Kaur(c)||Minnu Mani||Deepti sharma||Harleen Deol|
|Heather Knight / Van Niekerk*||Amelia Kerr*||Alice Capsey*||Kiran Navgire||Asheigh Gardner*|
|Richa Ghosh (wk)||Humaira Kazi||Marizanne Kapp*||Devika Vaidya||D. Hemalatha|
|Kanika Ahuja||Amanjot Kaur||Taniya Bhatia (wk)||Grace Harris*||Sushma Verma (wk)|
|Megan Schutt*||Pooja Vastrakar||Jess Jonnasen*||Sophie Ecclestone*||Sneh Rana|
|Renuka Thakur||Issy Wong / Heather Graham*||Shikha Pandey||S Yashasri||Annabel Sutherland*|
|Shreyanka Patil||Neelam Bisht||Radha Yadav||Anjali Sarvani||Monica Patel|
|Komal Zanzad||Saika Ishaque||Titas Sadhu||Rajeshwari Gayakwad||Hurley Gala|