Opening WPL clash a repeat of 2023 season finale between MI-DC

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NEW DELHI: The second season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will kickstart from Friday, with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) set to take on last year’s runners-up Delhi Capitals in a high-octane tournament opener in Bengaluru.

The opening match of the tournament could be the perfect tone-setter for Delhi, as they would be looking forward to moving past the heartbreak of last year’s loss to Mumbai in the finals and securing the gold. Meg Lanning would have her eyes set on the gold, hoping to hold the newest championship title of women’s franchise cricket after conquering international cricket Australia all over the world.

UP Warriorz, who fell just two steps short of the title after losing in the eliminator, would also be looking to go a couple steps ahead and capture the prestigious trophy, with England star Danni Wyatt and some new Indian domestic talent joining the team.

For Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Gujarat Giants, who held the bottom two positions in the points table last time, it will be an opportunity to start afresh and deliver as per their potential. Gujarat in particular, will be boosted by the return of their star skipper Beth Mooney, who could not play last season due to injury. Skipper Smriti Mandhana will also be looking to find her best form as her batting will be crucial in the star-studded line-up.

DC skipper Lanning said in a video posted by WPL ahead of the tournament, “Our preparations have been great and it is great to witness improvement from some local Indian talent, they have been working really hard. We are really excited and came together as a team a little earlier, which is nice”.

MI skipper Harmanpreet Kaur also said that the team spent some quality time in nets and played some warm-up games. “We spent some quality time in the nets, and some warm-up matches ahead of the tournament. We had a great time together and looking forward to the game”, said Harmanpreet.

Ahead of the tournament, Mandhana, the RCB skipper said, “Preparations have been really good. For last eight days, we have had an amazing camp and also had a great camp for domestic girls over the last one year. We also connected over video calls few times. A fun group to be around.”

UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy also said that the team has spent 10 days in the camp working hard on their skills.
“The team has been working really hard and is excited to get the tournament underway. WPL is exciting and entertaining,” said Healy.

Lastly, Gujarat Giants skipper Beth Mooney said, “We are super excited. There is a great buzz around the group. Young Indian players especially are really looking forward to the tournament.”

Squads for all teams:

DELHI CAPITALS:

Full squad: Alice Capsey, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Jess Jonassen, Laura Harris, Marizanne Kapp, Meg Lanning, Minnu Mani, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Sneha Deepthi, Taniya Bhatia, Titas Sadhu, Annabel Sutherland, Aparna Mondal, Ashwani Kumari.

MUMBAI INDIANS

Full squad: Amanjot Kaur, Amelia Kerr, Chloe Tryon, Harmanpreet Kaur, Hayley Matthews, Humaira Kazi, Issy Wong, Jintimani Kalita, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Pooja Vastrakar, Priyanka Bala, Saika Ishaque, Yastika Bhatia, Shabnim Ismail, S Sajana, Amandeep Kaur, Fatima Jaffer, Keerthana Balakrishnan.

GUJARAT GIANTS

Full squad: Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, Dayalan Hemalatha, Harleen Deol, Laura Wolvaardt, Shabnam Shakil, Sneh Rana, Tanuja Kanwar, Phoebe Litchfield, Meghna Singh, Trisha Poojitha, Sayali Sathgare, Priya Mishra, Lee Tahuhu, Kathryn Bryce, Mannat Kashyap, Veda Krishnamurthy, Tarannum Pathan.

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE

Full squad: Asha Shobana, Disha Kasat, Ellyse Perry, Nadine de Klerk, Indrani Roy, Shradda Pokharkar, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil, Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Georgia Wareham, Kate Cross, Ekta Bisht, Shubha Satheesh, S Meghana, Simran Bahadur, Sophie Molineux.

UP WARRIORS

Full squad: Alyssa Healy, Anjali Sarvani, Deepti Sharma, Grace Harris, Kiran Navgire, Chamari Athapaththu, Laxmi Yadav, Parshavi Chopra, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, S Yashasri, Shweta Sehrawat, Sophie Ecclestone, Tahlia McGrath, Danni Wyatt, Vrinda Dinesh, Poonam Khemnar, Saima Thakor, Gouher Sultana. (ANI)

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