India batter Veda Krishnamurthy feels the WPL will present learning opportunities for players in the competition for dealing with crunch situations in a game. The WPL season-opener on March 4 will see Gujarat Giants taking on Mumbai Indians at the DY Patil Stadium.
“It definitely will help a lot of cricketers, especially in aspects such as how to go about crunch situations. That’s been one area in the past for the Indian team where we have failed to get answers when we have been under the pump."
“But the WPL will present situations where players will understand what needs to be done and that will be a huge advantage for the Indian team," said Veda to IANS in a chat facilitated by the broadcasters Sports18 and JioCinema, where she will be seen as a WPL expert.
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In the WPL, there are five teams - Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, UP Warriorz and Gujarat Giants. 22 matches will be in all, including the final on March 26 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Veda, who has played 48 ODIs and 76 T20Is for India, cites the feeling of seeing WPL coming into reality as a dream come true moment for the women’s cricket fraternity in the country.
“The feeling is amazing for the fact that it has been a dream for all of us women’s cricketers over the last few years. To see that coming into reality, makes us feel like we have contributed through our cricketing journey to make this happen and I am extremely happy about it."
All five teams will play each other twice in the round-robin stage. The tournament has four double-header days. Afternoon games will begin at 3:30 pm, while the evening games will start at 7:30 pm.
Veda thinks Indian players who ply their trade in the domestic circuit will benefit the most through the WPL, starting from rubbing shoulders with international cricketers. “Domestic players will have an opportunity to play with international superstars which is a wonderful thing in itself and the opportunities they are going to get from interacting with and learning from them are going to be priceless."
The right-handed batter has been one of the few Indian players who has exposure of playing in overseas T20 leagues through her stint with Hobart Hurricanes in the Women’s Big Bash League in 2017/18, where she played nine matches for the side.
“WBBL made me realize it is always better to talk about your game and be open enough. In India, we are rather conservative about giving our opinions out and tend to keep them in our minds but playing in the WBBL I learnt to have conversations about what’s running in my head. Eventually, you figure in doing so, it is not at all bad to have an opinion on things," she stated on how her WBBL stint helped her in becoming a better player.
The team that finishes first on the WPL points table will go straight into the final. Teams finishing second and third will play the eliminator; the winner from which will go into the final to meet the top-ranked team.
Veda signed off by pointing out how the WPL can bring a societal change for women’s cricket in the country through playing opportunities and financial benefits. “I think the things that BCCI is doing is already encouraging parents and kids to think about taking up cricket as a career which was not the case a few years ago."
“WPL adds an extra cushion that one does not have to play only for India to make a career out of playing cricket but they also have a stepping stone in WPL. From a financial viewpoint that provides security."
“If one does well then they can go on to play for India too. We saw how quickly things developed in men’s cricket and I think it is going to be a similar case in women’s cricket too."
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