Mumbai, March 8 (IANS) Australia’s wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy believes the ongoing Womens Premier League (WPL) has the potential to inspire the young girls in India to have a future in playing cricket and become the next generation of cricketers for the country.
The inaugural season of the WPL began from March 4, with Alyssa captaining UP Warriorz. Many current and former cricketers had been advocating for the WPL to begin, with it being seen as a gamechanger for women cricketers in India on and off the field.
“I’m happy to own the fact that I’ve been calling for the WPL to come to fruition for a while, so it’s really cool to be over here witnessing first-hand how Indian cricket operates. I was chatting with Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana the other day, and they reinforced what I’ve thought for years about the potential impact of the WPL,” wrote Alyssa in her column for cricket.com.au on Wednesday.
“They’ve seen what the WBBL has done for our Australian team; when fresh faces come into our group, they have a knack of performing straight away on the international stage. Chatting with some of the Indian players, they say that it takes young players coming into their squad a while to feel like they belong at international level.
Now they’re playing in the WPL, bowling to the likes of Beth Mooney and Nat Sciver-Brunt day-in, day-out, it’s scary to think how much better that will make the Indian team. Even more importantly, the WPL will inspire the next generation of young girls in India to see a future in cricket,” she added.
Alyssa also feels that the WPL can pose a challenge to the domination enjoyed by Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in women’s T20 franchise cricket competitions.
“The WBBL has been the envy of women’s cricket for eight years now, but there’s no denying the WPL will put pressure on our domestic competition. It’s not all about money, but players in the WPL are earning more for a three-week competition than they are playing for their country for 12 months of the year,” she said.
“For the WBBL to keep pace with the WPL and retain its status as the best domestic competition in the world, we need to make sure it’s lucrative and exciting enough for the best players to keep making the trip to Australia,” she added.