(Cricket News) India’s vice-captain and skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Smriti Mandhana, has voiced support for adopting a multi-city format for the upcoming Women’s Premier League, aiming to draw more attention to women’s cricket. Speaking at the RCB Innovation Lab’s Leaders Meet India in Bengaluru, Smriti Mandhana expressed her desire for the league to expand its reach, engaging new audiences and creating an environment akin to the fervor of iconic stadiums like Chinnaswamy.
Smriti said, “Having WPL in a multi-city format would be great. I think that might be the next step, and I am sure the people right here would look into it and make it happen. As an RCB fan, I would love to play in Chinnaswamy where people are chanting ‘RCB RCB’ and just to be in that environment. That is something which is one step ahead for us that it (multi-city format) can reach places where women’s cricket hasn’t reached and to get a new audience into women’s cricket,” Mandhana stated.
With the WPL auction approaching, Smriti Mandhana emphasized the importance of investing wisely in players. “A lot of thoughts have gone into what kind of combinations we need in terms of releases or retention. So we are really looking forward to the WPL auctions and hopefully, we get the players who we are looking forward to getting,” she added.
Following a challenging season for RCB, who finished in 4th place, the team has made strategic decisions in the release list, parting ways with players like Dane van Niekerk and Megan Schutt. Notably, West Indies all-rounder Deandra Dottin and Ireland’s Kim Garth are positioned in the top bracket of players for the upcoming WPL auction scheduled for December 9 in Mumbai.
“A reserve price of Rs 50 Lakhs is the highest, with 2 players – Deandra Dottin and Kim Garth – choosing to be slotted in the top bracket,” noted a BCCI press release. Additionally, four players have been categorized in the 40 Lakhs bracket.
The inaugural edition of the tournament took place from March 4 to March 26 earlier this year. With the next IPL season set to commence in mid-March, there are indications that the WPL could kick off as early as February.