Danni Wyatt did not find any takers for the Women’s Premier League last season. But on Wednesday, the England batter scored a classy 47-ball-75 in the first T20I against India and sent a timely reminder to all the franchises about her batting prowess, ahead of Saturday’s WPL auction.
At the Wankhede Stadium, Wyatt forged a 138-run third wicket stand with Nat Sciver-Brunt - the highest partnership for England against India in T20Is - and eventually paved the way for her team’s convincing 38-run victory.
As Wyatt addressed the media after the game, she was asked whether the WPL auction was on her mind while batting and the right-handed batter said with a smile, “Not while I was batting, not when I was walking out to bat, but it crossed my mind a few times, people spoke about it…”
While few of her teammates earned big money in the auction last season, Wyatt went unsold. “I was pretty disappointed last year, but I have completely changed my mindset now. I’ve done hard work, and I kind of had a good summer. I would love to be a part of the next WPL,” she said.
This time around, a maximum of 30 slots are available with the five teams, with nine spots for overseas players. So, it would be interesting to see whether Wyatt can attract enough bids in the mini-auction.
Wyatt has had a memorable summer, scoring the highest runs in England’s domestic T20 tournament - Charlotte Edwards Cup - and she followed it up with a successful stint at the women’s Hundred. She, however, opted out of the Women’s Big Bash League, took a break and then joined the England team for a training tour in Oman.
“I had seven weeks off with no cricket which was really nice. I haven’t done that for a few years,” she said.
Against a formidable Indian team, Wyatt stamped her class. While she was happy to be back in her element, she also lauded Sciver-Brunt for her efforts. “Nat is just so calm, we don’t really talk much out there. We have played with each other a lot. I have batted a lot with Nat. She is a quality player, she scores runs for fun, especially out here in Mumbai and (is) familiar with the conditions,” Wyatt said.
Being a part of the Mumbai Indians in the WPL, Sciver-Brunt had faced Saika Ishaque, who made her international debut on Wednesday, a lot in the nets, and while batting she passed on a few inputs to Wyatt, which was of help.
Meanwhile, India’s off-spinner Shreyanka Patil, who made her debut, said that the Indian team will have a chat and bounce back in the three-match series. “The wicket was amazing to bat on, it was not easy (to bowl), but I think we did a pretty decent job. We will have a discussion as to what can be improved. Fielding could have been better, but we will bounce back stronger,” she said.
The 21-year-old, who claimed two wickets, also revealed that it was tough for her to catch some sleep after knowing that she would make her debut against England. “I was very happy that I got the cap. I was a bit excited as well as nervous, I did not get any sleep (the previous night), but after one or two balls I was fine. (It felt like) I belong here,” she said.
India plays the second T20I against England on Saturday.
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