In the first of the three-match T20I series between India women and England women played on December 6, just three days before the much-awaited player auction for WPL 2024, England’s Danielle Wyatt made a strong case for herself. The right-handed opening batter packed a punch with a masterclass 75 off 47, an innings laced with eight fours and two sixes at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
In the post-match press conference, when asked whether she thought about the upcoming WPL player auction before walking out to bat in the first T20I, she said, “Not while I was batting and not when I was walking out to bat. But it did cross my mind a few times in the morning when people spoke about it, though. I was pretty disappointed last [auction].”
"I would love to be a part of the next WPL, will see what happens."
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) December 7, 2023
It was quite shocking for most, if not all, to see Wyatt going unsold in the player auction held in February this year for the inaugural season of WPL. She said, “I was pretty disappointed last [auction]. But I have completely changed my mind, so now I am just like I have done all I can, had a good summer, performed tonight, so what will be will be. [I] would love to be a part of the next WPL, will see what happens.”
Of the 30 slots available this time around, including nine places for overseas players, Wyatt would definitely fancy her chances after her scintillating innings on Wednesday. Not to forget, she had a good summer, too. However, considering other overseas openers like Phoebe Litchfield, Chamari Athapaththu, Deandra Dottin, and Tammy Beaumont, who are also in the mix, getting into a WPL team for the 32-year-old Wyatt will not be a walk in the park.
During her much-talked-about innings, which came under a lot of pressure since England had lost two wickets in the first over, courtesy of Renuka Singh Thakur, Wyatt joined forces with Natalie Sciver-Brunt to bail their team out with a 138-run partnership that took just 87 balls. Reflecting on their match-winning stand, Wyatt said, “Nat’s just so calm, we don’t really talk much out there in the middle. We have played with each other a lot, [I have] batted a lot with Nat. She is a quality player, scores runs for fun especially here in Mumbai. The partnership was needed at the time we did it.”
It was indeed a memorable day for Wyatt as she featured in her historic 150th T20I and became only the third player in women’s cricket after India’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur and former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates. She also became the first England player across men’s and women’s T20I cricket to achieve this feat. A calm and content Wyatt said, “It is always nice to do well on your big days. I try not to think too much about it being a big game for me. It is something I will look back on when I retire.”
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.