When Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) entered the inaugural Women’s Premier League auction earlier last month, their strategy was quite clear to go all out with an aggressive and confident approach and acquire a strong combination of youth and experience.
While addressing the media during the team’s first virtual press conference on Thursday, head coach Ben Sawyer spoke highly about RCB’s young Indian players and expects them to play a key role in the team’s journey in the upcoming first-ever season of the WPL.
“Saying impressed [with young Indian talent] would be an understatement. Last few days into the nets have been outstanding. Shreyanka [Patil] with her off spin, Disha [Kasat] at the top there, there is someone like Poonam [Khemnar] with a power-hitting ability and Asha [Shobana] bowling leg spin has been as good as anybody that we have on ground,” said Sawyer, who has been involved in women’s cricket for many years.
Shaping up a bold squad, they not only brought notable names from world cricket, such as star India opener Smriti Mandhana, Aussie all-rounder Ellyse Perry, New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine and South African all-rounder Dane Van Niekerk among other but also added some of the exciting young Indian talents with the likes of wicket-keeper Richa Ghosh and spinners Asha and Shreyanka.
“What Mike [Hesson] and I wanted to put together at the auction was some really good domestic talent that’s going to complement the internationals. With my experience in other franchise cricket, it’s the strength of the domestic players that plays really important roles in being successful in these competitions. And I know RCB has put a lot of work into it with their scouting and also with the auction plans that we had. We are really very happy with all the domestic players we have got on our side,” Sawyer added.
Kickstarting their WPL campaign on Sunday at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, RCB are scheduled to play the first four games within a span of six days.
Talking about the team combination and utilising international players, Mike Hesson, Director of Cricket, RCB, said: “I think it’s highly likely that all six players will roll up at some stage not just because of fatigue but because of different skills set, different match-ups that we will be looking to operate against different teams. We are really fortunate that we got six high-quality [foreign] players.”