England captain Heather Knight, who is currently playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), feels the tournament has the bright potential to push the standard of women’s cricket forward and bring in investment.
“When the men’s IPL started, you saw a shift in the game. And that’s definitely the case here. The money involved is just crazy and I think the standard has been very strong.
There are going to be so many benefits from it. It is going to push the standard of the game forward and bring in investment,” Knight said on the first episode of Sky Cricket’s Daggers and Lyds podcast.
Talking about her experience of playing WPL in India, she said, “The passion for cricket out here (in India) is unbelievable. It’s such an amazing place to play. Cricketers here are treated like gods. They just love the game so much. Indian fans are the noisiest in the world, for me.”
RCB had a poor start to the WPL, losing all first five games before finally registering a first win against UP Warriorz at the Brabourne Stadium on Wednesday. Heather recounted how the side getting their first win got them the guard of honor back from their hotel staff.
“It’s funny. We got back from the ground after our first game, our first loss, and there was a big guard of honor from all of the staff. We’d just lost, so we were like, ‘this is a bit embarrassing’.
We lost the next one, and so the number of staff sort of halved in size� we lost the next one and it was just a couple of chefs clapping. After the fourth one, no one was there, it was just tumbleweeds in the lobby,” the England player said.
“Finally getting our first win, the guard of honor was back! Everyone was holding cricket bats, there were rose petals thrown from the balcony, there was champagne, and there was cake. It was a lot of fun. I can’t imagine what they’re going to do if we turn things around and make the finals,” she added.
RCB, currently at the bottom of the points table, will face Gujarat Giants in their next WPL 2023 match at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday evening.