New Delhi: India captain Harmanpreet Kaur is extremely excited to see the Women’s Premier League (WPL) come to life, pointing out that Indian cricket will get a huge amount of talent from the competition.
“We have been waiting for this moment for a long time and finally the time has come. I am looking forward to that. We are going to get a huge amount of talent from this tournament. Domestic players are going to get to play with and against overseas players in a lot of matches. That’s something we are looking forward to seeing,” Harmanpreet was quoted as saying by JioCinema.
Harmanpreet is the first Indian cricketer to play 100 T20Is and is renowned around the world for her clean-hitting abilities. She is also the first Indian woman to score a century in T20Is during the 2018 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and led the country to runners-up finish in the 2020 edition of the tournament and is going to lead India in the 2022 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
On February 13 at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, a total of 409 cricketers, including Harmanpreet, are all set to go under the hammer at the WPL Player 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 and 8 are from associate nations. A maximum of 90 slots are available with the five teams, with 30 being slotted for overseas players.
Asked about the impact the tournament is likely to have, Harmanpreet reflected on her time playing franchise T20 leagues like the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia. “It helps players build confidence. When I was playing in Australia, that gave me a lot of confidence to do well in international cricket.”
“Now, the WPL is going to play the same role for Indian domestic players. Whenever we share the dressing room with overseas players, it is always very special for all of us. That is something all domestic players are looking forward to.”
Harmanpreet named herself, Deepti Sharma, and Smriti Mandhana as the Indian players to watch out for. She also said Sophie Devine, Ashleigh Gardner, and Alyssa Healy will be the international players to keep a track of during the tournament.
Despite the stiff competition, she is hoping to take home the title of leading run-getter in the tournament. “I have been working hard for this for a very long time. This is the moment. I just can’t wait for this tournament to start. If I get the maximum runs, that will be a big moment in my life.”
Harmanpreet also made a passionate plea to the fans to support the tournament by watching it avidly and coming out to the stadiums in huge numbers in Mumbai. “This is something we have been waiting for a long time. I want viewers to come and watch and support women’s cricket, as this is a very big moment for all supporters and all women cricketers.”
“Whoever is getting a chance, support them. Whoever is not getting one, just wait for your opportunity because this is never going to stop from now on. This is a bigger step and everyone should contribute and everyone should feel happy. Just come and support us, because every time you support us, we feel motivated. We all will be waiting for you guys at the stadium.”