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WPL 2023: Harmanpreet, Smriti, Deepti, Perry, Devine amongst Top Five Captaincy Candidates

WPL Player Auction 2023: Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Ellyse Perry and Sophie Devine amongst the Top Five Captaincy Candidates.

WPL Player Auction 2023: Harmanpreet Kaur likely to lead a team in WPL 2023 | Walking Wicket (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Harmanpreet Kaur likely to lead a team in WPL 2023 (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

The inaugural auction for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) is going to be held on February 13 in Mumbai, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed recently. The Board had also said that a total of 409 players – 246 Indian and 163 overseas nationals – made the final list from the 1500+ registrations received for the event.


In the meantime, franchises have been busy building their coaching and support staff teams. Mumbai have roped in former India pacer Jhulan Goswami as bowling coach and mentor. Delhi have roped in former county wicketkeeper batter Jonathan Batty as head coach, while former India cricketer Hemlata Kala and former Australia cricketer Lisa Keightley have been named assistant coaches.

One important step for the franchises, after zeroing down on the 18-member squads and the support staff, would be to select a capable captain. Every team would like to select a captain who can be retained for at least three to four years before switching to another one. Here is the list of top captaincy candidates who could be roped in by the teams.


Harmanpreet Kaur

Harmanpreet Kaur is the current captain of India Women's team in all formats. She has been one of the top-performing players in India across formats and around the world. The 33-year-old player has a rich experience of playing 145 T20I matches in which she has scored 2919 runs at an average of 28.33, including a century and 9 half-centuries. In 2019 during a series against South Africa, she became the first ever player for India, male or female, to represent the country in 100 T20Is. Apart from batting, she could be useful as a right-arm off-spinner and has 32 wickets in the format at an economy rate of 6.27.


Kaur was first made captain of India women's cricket team before the final match of the Women's T20 Asia Cup in 2012 when captain Mithali Raj and vice-captain Jhulan Goswami were ruled out of the tournament because of injuries. In her debut match as captain, she led India to a win against Pakistan by a margin of 81 runs to win the Asia Cup. Her biggest achievement as captain came in September 2022, when India Women won their first series against England in England after 23 years.


In 2016, Kaur became the first Indian cricketer - male or female - to sign a contract in Big Bash League (BBL) with Sydney Thunder in Australia. And then in 2017, she signed a contract with Surrey Stars in ECB's Kia Super League.

Harmanpreet’s batting record in T20Is:

Mat

Runs

SR

Ave

HS

Wkts

Eco

BBI

146

2940

122.0

28.26

103

32

6.27

4/23

CWG 2022, India Women vs Pakistan Women Highlights_ Smriti Mandhana's fifty (63_) helps India beat Pakistan in Group A game _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Smriti is current vice-captain of India's T20I team (Source: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Smriti Mandhana

The left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana has been an integral part of the India Women’s cricket team since she made her international debut for India against Bangladesh in 2013 in the T20I and ODI format as a 16-year-old under Harmanpreet Kaur’s captaincy. The southpaw is now vice-captain of India across formats.


Mandhana is a versatile player who can play in any situation from aggressor to passive long innings. She has scored more than 5,000 runs across formats in India and around the world. In the 20-over format, the southpaw has played 111 matches and scored 2651 runs at a decent average of 27.28 with a strike rate of 123.58, which is just about good for an opening batter. She was the top run-getter in 2022 having scored 594 runs from 21 innings at a strike rate of 133.48.

She became the first-ever India woman cricketer to score a one-day double-century in 2013. She is one the finest batters in the world and is capable of scoring consistently in all formats. The southpaw has been named ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year twice in 2018 and 2021.

In September 2016, Mandhana signed a one-year deal with Brisbane Heat for the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL). Along with Harmanpreet Kaur she thus became one of the first two Indians to sign a contract with the Australian league. Currently, she is playing for Sydney Thunder.

Mat

Runs

SR

Ave

HS

4s/6s

111

2651

123.58

27.32

86

359/50


Deepti Sharma

Deepti Sharma is an all-rounder who can do wonders with both bat and ball. Last year, she was the top-wicket taker for India in T20Is with 29 wickets in 25 matches. Her batting skills have also been top-notch so far with 898 runs from 62 T20Is at a strike rate of 106.39.


Deepti plays in different league matches in Australia and England. In 2019, she signed up to play for the Western Storm in the Kia Super League. In 2021, she played for London Spirit in the inaugural season of The Hundred and plays for Sydney Thunder in Women’s Big Bash League.

Mat

Runs

SR

50s/100s

HS

Wkts

Eco

BBI

61

898

106.39

2/0

64

95

6.09

4/10

Ellyse Perry

Ellyse Perry is one of the most famous and dominant players in modern-day women’s cricket. She played her debut match in July 2007 against New Zealand before her 17th birthday and became the youngest Australian cricketer to play international cricket and the first to have played both ICC and FIFA World Cups.


An all-rounder, who is great with both bat and ball which reflects in her several statistical achievements, Perry was the first player to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in T20Is. Her 213* is the highest score by an Australia woman in Test matches and she was the third player to claim 150 wickets in ODIs.

Perry has played a total of 133 T20Is and scored 1475 runs with a strike rate of 110, and took 119 wickets with an economy rate of 5.85.

Mat

Runs

SR

50s/100s

HS

Wkts

Eco

BBI

133

1475

110.81

7/0

75

119

5.85

4/12


Sophie Devine

Sophie Devine’s journey from a bowler to an all-rounder is nothing less than a fairytale. Devine, at the start of her career, was a right-arm medium pacer and used to bat at the number 11 position. But she developed into one of the most destructive batters who eventually turned into a leading all-rounder.


Devine was selected to represent the New Zealand women’s national cricket team at the age of 17, and she became the youngest NZ player to play international cricket. In January 2020, she was named captain of the New Zealand team. She became the first-ever cricketer - male or female - to make five consecutive T20I fifty-plus scores at the 2020 T20 World Cup.


Devine has played a total of 115 matches in T20Is and scored 2950 runs with a strike rate of 122, and took 110 wickets in 103 innings with an economy rate of 6.34.

Mat

Runs

SR

50s/100s

HS

Wkts

Eco

BBI

115

2950

122.0

17/1

105

110

6.34

4/22

The franchises would definitely like to have an Indian captain for their teams because they would definitely be available for the WPL, whereas overseas captains could have other commitments. Another reason to have an Indian captain is that they know the conditions and other team players would be comfortable in playing with them. However, a foreign captain could also make an entry as we saw in the case of Indian Premier League (IPL).


There are many other players who could be good options to captain the teams like England’s wicketkeeper batter Amy Jones and the current Australia captain Meg Lanning, but it’s not certain whether Lanning would be fit to play or not.

The first edition of WPL will be played from March 4 to 26, with all 22 matches to be played at the Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.


Devine was selected to represent the New Zealand women’s national cricket team at the age of 17, and she became the youngest NZ player to play international cricket. In January 2020, she was named captain of the New Zealand team. She became the first-ever cricketer - male or female - to make five consecutive T20I fifty-plus scores at the 2020 T20 World Cup.


Devine has played a total of 115 matches in T20Is and scored 2950 runs with a strike rate of 122, and took 110 wickets in 103 innings with an economy rate of 6.34.

Batting


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