New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Australia all-rounder Grace Harris believes the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) will make the Indian national women’s team a much bigger powerhouse than what they already are now and can even help them match Australia’s standard too.
Five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, along with the Adani Group and Capri Global, won bids last week to own teams in the WPL set to begin from March this year, with the BCCI fetching INR 4669.99 crore in total bids.
Viacom18 Media Private Limited also won the consolidated bid for media rights (i.e., Global Televisions Rights and Global Digital Rights) of the WPL for 2023-2027, with a bid of INR 951 crore, which translates to a per match value of INR 7.09 crore.
“The better domestic comp that you can get, the stronger the internationals you’ll have. (The WPL) will change Indian cricket. They’ll be a much bigger powerhouse than what they already are. The women’s India team, they’ll be pushing our boundaries and driving international standards of women’s cricket as well as Australia,” Grace was quoted as saying by AAP.
Australian leg-spinner Alana King, who parents originally hail from Chennai, echoed Grace’s views by saying the WPL will drive the growth of women’s cricket even more. “It’s going to drive the women’s game even further and really put it on the world stage. This is where the women’s game is at and this is what it deserves.”
India are currently ranked fourth in the ICC Women’s rankings in both T20Is and ODIs, with Australia sitting at top of the charts. Australia had a hectic time since touring India for five T20Is in December, followed by hosting Pakistan at home in January and then departing for South Africa to defend their Women’s T20 World Cup crown in February.
Fast bowler Darcie Brown said though she needed some downtime at home after a hectic schedule, she didn’t want to lose the opportunity in registering for WPL auction. “We’d have to leave straight away from the World Cup to go over there if we were to get picked up, and there’s so much cricket getting played later this year as well. But it’d be an opportunity that’d be silly to pass up.”
With the WPL joining in Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), England’s The Hundred and West Indies’ Women’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) apart from a women’s league in Pakistan in the making, Alana thinks participating in franchise T20 competitions won’t keep Australia players away from national duties. “We love representing our country. We wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.”