England captain Heather Knight, who is currently playing for Bangalore in the Women’s T20 League, believes that the tournament has the potential to elevate the standard of women’s cricket and attract investment. Speaking on the Daggers and Lyds podcast by Sky Cricket, Knight compared the WTL to the men’s Indian T20 League and said, “The money involved is just crazy, and I think the standard has been very strong.” She also praised the passion for cricket in India, saying, “Cricketers here are treated like gods. Indian fans are the noisiest in the world, for me.”
Bangalore had a difficult start to the WTL, losing their first five games. Knight recounted how after their first loss, the hotel staff greeted them with a guard of honour, which gradually diminished with each subsequent loss. However, after their first win against UP, the staff once again celebrated with the team, throwing rose petals, champagne, and cake.
Knight also expressed her excitement about the potential of the tournament, saying, “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.”
Good start for the WTL
The WTL, which is the first franchise-based league for women’s cricket in India, features six teams competing in a round-robin format. The league has attracted top international players, including Knight, Meg Lanning, Suzie Bates, and Mignon du Preez. The final will be held on April 1, 2023, at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.
Bangalore, currently at the bottom of the points table, will face Gujarat in their next WTL match on Saturday evening. Despite their slow start, Knight and her team remain optimistic about their chances of turning things around and making it to the finals. They have so far won just one match after losing five on the trot.
For Bangalore to qualify for the playoffs they would have to win their remaining matches and hope other matches go in their favour as well.