India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, who will be leading Mumbai Indians (MI), on Thursday expressed hope that the Women's Premier League (WPL) will cut down the difference between India and Australia, a team that Women in Blue has come close to defeating, only to lose by narrow margins, especially at knockout matches of big ICC events.
The inaugural edition of WPL will kick off from March 4.
India came close to defeating Australia in the semifinal of the recently-concluded ICC Women's T20 World Cup, but lost by five runs. Women in Blue also lost to the Aussies by a narrow margin of nine runs in the final of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Harmanpreet was India's top scorer on both occasions and almost pulled off the chase for India, but did not find much support from lower-order players. India also lost by 85 runs to the same side in the final of the 2020 T20 World Cup.
"I think this is a great platform for all Indian players because we have been missing this tournament for a long time," Harmanpreet said of the WPL during a virtual press conference on Thursday as quoted by ESPNCricinfo.
"Definitely for Australia and England the WBBL and Hundred have worked very well and after those tournaments, they have got so much young talent. After the WPL we are also going to get some good talent and I am sure the difference you are talking about [between India and Australia sides] we would love to cut down. When you see good talent coming up, you are definitely going to make a good team after the WPL," added the skipper.
In its first season, the Women's Premier League will stage a total of 20 league matches and two Playoff games that will be played in a duration of 23 days.
The league will start on 4th March at Mumbai's DY Patil Stadium with a blockbuster clash between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians.
On Sunday, March 5, the WPL will have its first double-header day where Royal Challengers Bangalore will square off against Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne Stadium, CCI. UP Warriorz will play their first game of the league against Gujarat Giants at the DY Patil Stadium in the evening.
There will be four double headers with the first match starting at 3:30 PM IST. All evening matches will start at 7:30 PM IST.
A total of 11 matches each will be held at the DY Patil Stadium and Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
The final game of the league stage will be played between UP Warriorz and Delhi Capitals on 21st March at the Brabourne Stadium, CCI. The Eliminator will be played at the DY Patil Stadium on 24th March.
The Final of Women's Premier League 2023 will be played at the Brabourne Stadium on 26th March. (ANI)