WPL 2024: In Kashvee Gautam, Gujarat Giants have pace bowler they were looking for, says Mukund

February 16, 2024
Fast-bowling all-rounder Kashvee Gautam became the most expensive uncapped player in Women's Premier League

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Fast-bowling all-rounder Kashvee Gautam became the most expensive uncapped player in Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024 player auction after Gujarat Giants acquired her services for INR 2 crores and former India player Abhinav Mukund believes the side has got a fast-bowler in her who they were looking for in the tournament.

Mukund also thinks the overseas contingent of Gujarat is impressive. “May be, she wasn’t as quick last year with the ball, but she’s been exceptional with the new ball this year. A new-ball bowler is someone Gujarat Giants were looking for, and that’s what they got. All their overseas players are really good.

“They’ve got Beth Mooney, they have Ashleigh Gardner, they’ve also got Laura Wolvaardt and added Kathryn Bryce. The experience of Dayalan Hemalatha and Sneh Rana will definitely come into handy because I feel the young Indian players they picked, don’t have too much experience,” he said to JioCinema.

Kashvee played for India A in the T20 series against England A at Mumbai last year and was a member of India ‘A’ squad winning the ACC Emerging tournament in Hong Kong in June 2023. Last month, Kashvee was honoured with the Jagmohan Dalmiya Trophy for becoming best women cricketer in junior domestic circuit for 2019-20 season.

“Kashvee Gautam is a youngster and it’s not that we are looking only at this season. We are looking two seasons ahead. The players we select, we look at them for two seasons. So even if she gives us lukewarm performances, it’s an investment for the forthcoming seasons. She’s someone in the reckoning for the Indian team, someone who bowls, bats and is a very good fielder. That adds a lot to her skill,” said Mithali Raj, the former India captain who’s the mentor of Gujarat Giants.

Apart from Kashvee, former India men’s wicketkeeper-batter Saba Karim feels the eyes will also be on Australia opener Phoebe Litchfield, who recently won the ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year award for 2023 season.

“Both are youngsters and both will focus on containing the top-order. I feel this team looks a bit top-order heavy. I feel there’s a slight lack of balance in the team. But may be during the camps you will be able to see that balance. They have selected Kathryn Bryce who is a pace bowler. I feel they were looking to strengthen their pace attack,” he added.

Gujarat Giants finished last in the inaugural edition of the WPL in 2023. The side will open their WPL 2024 campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on February 25.

–IANS

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