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WPL 2023: Know more about lesser-known players – Part I

Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023: Know more about lesser-known players – Part I.

Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023: Saika Ishaque plays for Mumbai Indians Women | Walking Wicket (Images: ©WPLT20/Twitter)
Saika Ishaque plays for Mumbai Indians Women (Images: ©WPLT20/Twitter)

It has been around a week since when the Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2023 commenced in Mumbai. So far, the WPL has managed to entertain the people with some very entertaining matches.

There have been some unknown players who have grabbed everyone's eyeballs with their marvellous performances. Here’s a look at some of the lesser-known players who have grabbed the spotlight.

Saika Ishaque

Saika Ishaque currently dons the purple cap after becoming the highest wicket-taker in the WPL. Until now, she has bagged nine wickets in three matches with a strike rate of 6.77 and an average of 5.55. Mumbai Indians bought this gem for INR 10 lakh which was her base price; they did hit a jackpot with this selection.

Her career best figures came against Gujarat Giants on the opening day of WPL where she took four wickets while giving away just 11 runs in 3.1 overs with an economy of 3.47 runs per over.

The 27-year-old Ishaque hails from a humble background in Park Circus, a neighborhood in Kolkata, and plays domestic cricket for Bengal. She plays club cricket for Kalighat Cricket Club in Kolkata. She has played 21 T20 matches and got a chance to bowl in 17 innings, in which she has taken 16 wickets with a strike rate of 27.93 and an average of 23.56; out of these dismissals, six are LBW, five bowled, one stumped and four times caught by a fielder.

However, her shoulder injury in 2018 has pegged her out for a couple of years, and since then she has struggled to find her way. She played for India D team in 2021; in six matches that she played, she scalped a total of six wickets, of which four were clean bowled. Her ability to hit the stumps is something that has kept her apart from other bowlers and made her successful in WPL as well.

After this glorious performance in WPL, she will definitely get a call from India's senior team as India Seniors desperately need a good wicket-taker left-arm spinner in their squad.

Ashwani Kumari

Ashwani Kumari, who hails from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, is known for her explosive batting and effective medium fast bowling. The 25-year-old was bought in the Women's Premier League auction for INR 35 lakh by Gujarat Giants, while her base price was INR 10 lakh. She is the only one from her current state team to be a part of the WPL.

In the 2020-21 domestic season, Kumari was the most impactful middle-order batter in the 50-over format for Jharkhand. Last year, she opened the batting lineup for the state in the Senior Women's T20 Trophy; the all-rounder smashed 237 runs at a strike rate of 135.42. She grabbed the eyeballs of everyone with her crucial performance against Central Zone in which she scored 65 runs off 49 balls in the Inter-Zonal T20. Central Zone has several India players in their ranks and also boast of former India players as coaches.

Kumari has played 19 domestic matches and scored a total of 668 runs with a strike rate of 90.51; her best score is 148. It includes one hundred and two half-centuries. On top of that, in 18 innings she has scalped 13 wickets with an economy of 3.18, and her best was three wickets while giving off 36 runs.

Unfortunately, she hasn’t been selected in the playing XI for the Gujarat Giants, but it’s sure that once she makes it to the team, she will show her ability as a finisher and chip in with her right-arm seam bowling.

Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023_ Dikha Kasat plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©RCBTweets_Twitter)
RCB W would like to cash in Dikha Kasat's top form (Images: ©RCBTweets/Twitter)

Disha Kasat

Skipper of Vidarbha’s senior women’s team, Disha Kasat, has been the leading run-scorer for her team in every tournament. Her performance during the Senior Women's T20 Trophy, where she scored more than 300 runs at a strike rate of 114.50 prompted Royal Challengers Bangalore to pick her up at her base price of INR 10 lakh.

Kasat has been selected twice in the playing XI for RCB, but unfortunately failed to cash in on the opportunities. In the first match against Delhi Capitals, she scored nine runs off 11 balls, and in the second match, she got out on a duck.

Disha became the first Vidarbha batter to score a T20 hundred. In 2022, she topped the T20 run charts in the domestic circuit and has been a run machine throughout the season.

In a total of 12 matches that she has played in the domestic circuit, she has scored 399 runs and remained not out three times. She has a strike rate of above 90 and her average is 44.33.

Apart from playing for Vidarbha, India A and Royal Challengers Bangalore-Women, she also featured in the Dhaka Premier Division Women’s Cricket League.

Jintimani Kalita

Jintimani Kalita played an impressive role for Assam during the Senior Women's One Day Trophy when they were four down for 56. The 19-year-old Kalita walked in and played a mature inning of 78 runs in 114 balls, and helped them put up a decent score of 214 runs on the scoreboard; eventually, Meghalaya couldn’t chase off the total. This innings of her put her in the limelight. She is the lone player in the WPL from Assam. Mumbai Indians bought her at her base price of INR 10 lakh.

In a total 36 innings, Jintimani has scored 665 runs with a strike rate of 127.15 and remained not out 10 times. She has scored two half-centuries as well. Her ability to bowl seam and bat makes her outshine other players. She has bowled in 43 innings and scalped 57 wickets with an economy of 5.16; her best figures are six wickets while giving off just 18 runs.

Jintimani was also part of the Under-19 Women's Quadrangular series last year that featured Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

Monica Patel

Monica Patel received a call up for the India Women's cricket team in 2021 for limited-overs matches against South Africa but unfortunately, could not perform as expected. Now, she has been playing for the Gujarat Giants in the Women’s Premier League. GG bought her for INR 30 lakh.

The 23-year-old plays for the Karnataka team in domestic cricket. The left-arm medium pacer has been a constant player for her team who has always stood up when the team has needed her. In 2021, she took eight wickets during the domestic season. Apart from Karnataka, she has also played in the Challengers Trophy.


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