Exclusive: Journey of Shreyanka Patil from WPL to WCPL, diet, routine, friends and love for cricket!

Surely, in the world of women’s cricket, not many, if any at all, have gained recognition and popularity quite like Karnataka’s Shreyanka Patil, especially for an uncapped cricketer; it is simply the rarest of rarities. Her recent heroics, showcased across various tournaments on the global stage, have firmly etched her name in the annals of the sport. At just 21 years old, this dynamic spinner promises an exciting future with many more remarkable performances poised to grace the cricketing world.

Shreyanka Patil - journey from WPL to CPL. PC: Getty Images
Shreyanka Patil – journey from WPL to CPL. PC: Getty Images

Shreyanka Patil began her cricketing journey representing the Karnataka Under-16 team. Her inspiration stemmed from watching the Indian Premier League, particularly being a Royal Challengers Bangalore loyalist. Fast forward a decade, and Shreyanka was roped in by RCB in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) Auction for INR 10 Lakhs. Even within the star-studded RCB lineup, Shreyanka managed to carve out a name for herself with her exceptional spin skills.

Female Cricket interviewed Shreyanka Patil and here are extracts from our conversation:

On the back of an impactful run in both the WPL and Emerging Teams Asia Cup, where Shreyanka bagged 6 wickets in 7 games and 9 in 2 games, respectively, the 21-year-old all-rounder became the first Indian recruit in the Women’s Caribbean Premier League (W-CPL). Fans in India were able to watch Shreyanka’s heroics, thanks to Fancode. FanCode is the exclusive streaming partner for CPL and WCPL in India.

Acknowledging the same, she had the following to say. “It’s a special feeling because you are representing your country in this league and that itself is a big tag for me because India is something which I love to have around my back.

“So it’s just a great feeling to be representing India at this platform and having that tag saying that first and the only Indian to be a part of W-CPL. I was very, very happy when that tag came up and now getting the four-fer also, it’s a great feeling (She happened to be the first to bag a four-fer in the W-CPL). Unfortunately, we lost the game but the record is the record. So I’m just having fun here. It’s a very special moment for me because coming here and making this impact here in the W-CPL itself is a great feeling.”

Shedding light on her campaigns across tournaments to date this year, Shreyanka said –

“It just comes back to hard work and dedication. I’ve just been practicing the way I want to. So that’s kind of paid off. Nothing comes ahead of cricket for me. I keep cricket ahead of everything. So that’s kind of paid off for me because, from the day I had this dream of playing or representing my country, I’ve just not looked back, saying I have to play here, I have to do this. I had nothing. I just thought, okay fine, if I give my 120% at the practice, at the training, nothing is going to stop me from playing. So I’ve been following that mantra over the last five, six years and that’s kind of helped me and then just the hard work I’ve put in this sport is massive because I just don’t want to be the squeezing kind of a player in the team, I want to be an impact player who kind of change matches just like that.

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“So starting with WPL, it was a great experience for me being a youngster in the team, learning a lot from Ellyse Perry, Smriti Mandhana, all of them. It was just so nice to have them around me who were guiding me throughout the journey and then followed by Emerging Asia Cup, which I mean, they’re two games but then those two games I made sure that I made that impact on what I’m doing. So it’s all back to hard work and practice I would say and I’m just following that process and it’s most importantly how you trust the process. Even though things are not going well you make sure that you trust your process and you stick to them. So I’ve been doing that and things are working well for me.”

On her experience at the Women’s Caribbean Premier League 2023

“So when I came here I was like, oh my god, why am I feeling so lonely because I’m the only Indian? I don’t know anybody. I just knew Sophie (Devine). I was like, okay, fine, this is a platform where I can make a lot of friends and learn a lot of things. So I just kind of gel up with all the people and then (Shabnim) Ismail is a gem of a person to be very honest. She is one of the sweetest person I’ve ever met. She is so welcoming. She made sure that I don’t feel lonely here and I kept asking a couple of questions where I had to ask, and then she didn’t say no to anything. She’s so easy to talk to and just learning a lot of things from them. I know they’re not the same skill as I have. It’s not like she’s an off-spinner, she’s a pacer. But there’s a lot of learning because she’s played 16 years of international cricket. That’s a lot of experience. So nothing can stop me from learning.

“So if I can pick up something from her and add to my skill or my cricket, that’s going to make a big change and also Sophie (Devine), I’ve played with her and now again sharing the dressing room with her, and also Stafanie Taylor, she’s doing a great job. She’s just backing me with whatever I need, that itself is a big thing for me because not all captains understand what a bowler’s requirements are. So if she is able to give me what I want, a bowler is very happy. So it’s been an amazing journey so far. I’ve learned a lot of things from so many of them just not the big names and also players from here as well. So it’s a great platform for me to learn and to have fun because that’s very important when you come to such leagues. You need to have fun and make friends.”

What does a day in Shreyanka’s life look like?

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“So my day is fully packed. So I kind of hit the gym in the morning, then have breakfast and train till 1 o’clock in the afternoon, and then take a quick break for about one or one and a half hours. Then again, I hit the ground, I practice. So here’s the thing, I’ll be the first one to go to the ground and the last one to leave the ground. So I train till around 6.30-7 and that will be the end of the day because I love doing that. People say you over-train, people say you train a lot but then if that’s working for me, if I’m having fun, nothing can stop.”

Commenting on her biggest leaning from the W-CPL, she stated –

“I think it’s how quickly you adapt to the situation here because the heat is very bad. So it’s just getting used to other pitches here because it’s not the same where we play in India. So it’s kind of a different environment, a different setup here. So just getting to know what can be done here, what different can I do here. You can’t just stick to your old plan saying Okay this is what I’m going to do, this has worked for me in India so it’s going to work here. It’s not the same case. You have to keep changing the situation, you have to see what the team wants you to do. So that’s the biggest learning and it’s fun. It’s not like oh my god it’s so much stress. It’s so much fun to just change and say okay fine I’m going to do this because it’s something new and when you’re doing something new you’re going to enjoy it.”

Commenting on her friendship with fellow RCB mate, Kanika Ahuja, Shreyanka, said –

“Everything is so good about her. She’s my best friend I guess. But jokes apart she’s one gem of a person. I just love hanging out with her because she gets that Punjabi vibe. She gets that energy to me. Even if I’m low she’ll say (‘Aree chal na yeh karte hai, woh karte hai’) let’s do something. She’s just a happening kind of a person and she’s been with me in my tough times. She’s enjoyed my success. Though we are a similar kind of player, we never had that jealousy. We’ve never had a clash between us. We always enjoy each other’s success which is very very nice about us. So she’s just an amazing person to hang out with. She’s just amazing. She just called me a couple of days back saying stop spinning the ball way too much. I was like ‘Aree yaar tu khel na’. So we just have this fun conversation and she’s an amazing person.”

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