“I got into this I-don’t-care attitude,” says Danielle Wyatt

Ahead of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in March 2023, in the first-ever player auction, England’s star batter missed out on a bid but is all set to feature in the 2nd edition, scheduled from the 23rd of February, 2024, to the 17th of March 2024. In a recent interview, the veteran player Danielle Wyatt opened up on going unsold and how a tragedy led to her 2.0 self.

Danielle Wyatt.
Danielle Wyatt.

Danielle Wyatt debuted for England back in March 2010, in both One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). However, it wasn’t until 2017 that she hit her first-ever international ton. Reflecting on the same, she stated, “My career has been a tale of two halves. I started out as a bowler and was regarded as a pinch-hitter. It annoyed me deep down.”

Danielle didn’t play in the Tests and ODIs in the Women’s Ashes series in 2017. In the T20I opener, with England 4 down for 16, she scored a 36-ball 50 batting in the middle order. Promoted to open the batting in the 2nd T20I, Danielle scored 19 runs. In the following T20I, chasing 178 for victory, England were 3 down for 30 and she stepped up, notching up a 57-ball 100, helping England register a 4-wicket win.

Danielle dubbed the ton moment, “That was the start of the second half of my career – that is – Danielle Wyatt the batter. It was such a relief to show the world that I could do much more than just get a flashy 20 off 15 balls.”

This 2.0 version of Danielle happened following a ‘first big loss,’ the death of her granddad, a person she was very close to. Committed to playing for England, she, two days after the death of her granddad, boarded the flight to Australia to feature in the Women’s Ashes. In this episode, she stated, “When he died, a thought hit me, that gosh, life is too short. Something clicked in my head, I knew it was time for a change.

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“I got into this I-don’t-care attitude. Of course, I do care, but now, I do what is best for me. When I got that hundred against Australia, I looked up to the sky. It was for my grandfather.”

Danielle scored her 2nd T20I ton the following year (2018), and in 2019, registered her first ODI ton against Pakistan, with her most recent coming against South Africa in an ODI. In her 258 appearances for England, she has scored 4572 runs and taken 73 wickets. In T20Is, from 130 innings, she has amassed 2602 runs, including the highest score of 124, striking at 127.23, while also bagging 46 wickets from 45 innings.

Her impressive T20I numbers helped her play a lot of cricket overseas in various T20 competitions, but the first WPL opportunity went by. Quoting Danielle, “It was heartbreaking not to get a bid, especially after getting my hopes high. I thought I would get at least one bid, but I didn’t. That was a real kick in the face.

“For this year’s auction, I had a different mindset. I told myself that if I do get picked up that’s great, but if I don’t, that’s fine. It was nice that UP Warriorz bid for me.” Danielle is now back in India where she scored her 2nd T20I ton and is looking forward to her maiden WPL stint.

The WPL kicks off on the 23rd of February, 2024, with a rematch of last year’s Final, and UP Warriorz will play their first game against Royal Challengers Bangalore on the 24th of February. Post the first-leg fixtures in Bangalore, the business end, including the eliminator and the Final, will be played in Delhi.

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(Quotes sourced from The Quint)

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