WATCH: Ellyse Perry says Women’s Premier League 2023 will make India a force to reckon with in international cricket

Ellyse Perry who dons the RCB red and gold for the first season, speaks about the WPL being the next frontier in women’s cricket, the importance it holds for Indian domestic players, the growth of the game and much more.

Published : Mar 06, 2023 14:45 IST

Q. What are your initial thoughts on the WPL and the opportunity to get to play an event of this stature?

A: I think just the interest and engagement for all the fans has been huge. So to be over here at this time and being a part of it, it’s just awesome. 

Q. You have probably played the sport the longest out of your entire team. So do you see yourself as a mentor, given there are a few young players in the team?

A: Not so much. I think it just makes me feel old. But no, there are lots of amazing players and a whole group who have played lots of international cricket and have a huge amount of experience. But yeah, the young domestic talent in the team and right across the competition is just amazing. And those girls will forge their path in a really exciting time for women’s cricket.

Q. How much have the players been looking forward to something like this? 

A: Yeah, I think it was always going to be the next frontier in women’s cricket, and you know it’s impossible to match the scale of the IPL anywhere else around the world. So to have that now, it’s potentially life-changing for a lot of people, but equally, the growth of women’s cricket in India and unearthing new talent. Developing the domestic system in India... it’s going to be phenomenal, and it’s going to mean that the Indian team on the world stage is going to be an amazing force to be reckoned with in years to come as well. 

Q. What were your conversations like with the younger Indian players?

A: I think it’s just a great chance, especially at training, to see their talent. It was competitive in the nets. The girls are so excited and enthusiastic about training. They want to get you out in the net or hit you out of the park when you’re bowling to them. The best kind of language to speak is just cricket. They’re such friendly, smiling faces. We’ve just loved getting to know them and chatting about different things as it goes. 

Q. For a lot of players, the IPL, before the WPL, was where you know you get to rub shoulders with the best in the world, and you are one of the best in the world. So, what are you looking to get out of the WPL? 

A: All of us feel so fortunate to be a part of such an event. You know, across the course of my career, I think about all the amazing things that have happened, whether that’s been in World Cups or the introduction of the WBBL back home or The Hundred in England. The increase in pay for women’s cricketers to be professional full-time, the level of competition and the way that that’s increased, all those things have just been amazing. In a way, this is the cherry on top, particularly given that I’ve played for a long time now and then to be here in India for this tournament, knowing there will be huge crowds... It’s just amazing.. 

Q. How much does women’s cricket gain out of something like this? Do you see it changing since when you started playing? 

A: There’s no limit to what this competition can do for women’s cricket in India. Just look at the level at which they are playing now. All these young girls and women are exceptionally talented, and the sport is quite popular here. The players are very skilful and just need the opportunity now to go out and compete, get experience, and play in front of big crowds and on a big stage. So from that perspective, this time, it provides that platform.

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