Mumbai, XX March 2023:
The inaugural season of the highly anticipated Women’s Premier League is set to tee-off from the 4th of March 2023, as the buzz around the unique league is hotting up.
Anju Jain, former Indian Women’s Cricket team captain will be in the UP Warriorz dugout as assistant coach spoke about how the WPL is going to transform the landscape of Women’s cricket especially in India. She said, “The WPL is a historical event for me because I think we all have been waiting for a Women’s League for quite some time now. Finally, it’s happening and I am glad I am getting to play such an active role in it.
She further added, “It’s going to be a game changer for women’s cricket here in India and it’s going to play a transformative role on how the Women’s game is perceived here in the nation.”
The wicket-keeper right-handed batter, who played 65 WODIs for India also talked about how she would have loved to play in the WPL. Anju said, “I think for every cricketer nowadays it’s the dream to play franchise cricket. I wouldn’t say I have this one regret , but I definitely would have wanted to play in the T20 format and to be a part of WPL as a player, for sure.”
Anju who still holds the record for the most stumpings in WODIs, with 51 then talked about how much the Women’s game has developed since her playing days, she said, “it’s definitely changed and developed a lot. Since the time I think the BCCI took over the facilities that are currently there have become excellent, the number of games has increased for the Women’s, the facilities, everything on and off the field has developed massively. The grounds they get to play and train on have also improved massively, which has accelerated the development of these players.”
“But I think for me it’s important that every era has played its part for the Women’s game and it Is here today now because those senior players who came before us have struggled and gone through that phase and then we guys came and so the game progressed now and these guys get a chance to enjoy and perform at the highest levels. So yeah, I think each era has played a significant role in the development of the Women’s game, in which they have contributed and. I think this is one of the best Eras to be a Women cricketer,” she added as Anju explained how the Women’s game has developed through the years, while crediting the players that came before.
The 2005 Arjuna Awardee then went on to talk about how she’d like this current squad of UP Warriorz to approach each game, “I think that you should ask Jon this question but yeah, I think that, Jon made it very clear that we have to be aggressive. That’s going to be how we’re going to approach each game by being positive and very aggressive in all the games.”
She then talked about how the WPL will not only benefit the Women’s cricketers in the country but will empower women across the nation. Anju said, “The WPL will very much empower women across the nation, because there’s a lot to see, it’s not only the female cricketers who will get an opportunity and a platform, they’re going to be a lot more opportunities for the women to come into the administration part of the game. From the scorers to the umpires in general there are a lot of more opportunities that will be created through the league. A lot of them will surely find clear pathways into the management side of the game. So, I think It’s going to impact everybody as a whole, not only the cricketers but everybody who will still want to be a part of it and who still want to do or to contribute more for the upliftment of Women.”
Anju concluded by urging fans to come to the stadiums as she said, “I hope they do come to watch the games in numbers. We would really appreciate their support throughout because that is what really matters because if you have a good support behind it gives a lot of encouragement to the players to perform and play better. So, the more support we will get from the fans, I’m sure the players are going to perform much better.”
The UP Warriorz will take on the Gujarat Giants in their first ever Women’s Premier League game set to be played on the 5th of March 2023, with the action kicking-off at 7.30 pm IST at the DY Patil Cricket Stadium in Navi Mumbai.