“Smriti led from the front and has done an amazing job” – Ellyse Perry

The Women’s Premier League (WPL) final presented a historic moment for the Royal Challengers Bangalore as they had never clinched the championship in either the 16 years of the Indian Premier League or the Women’s Premier League, setting the stage for a new chapter in franchise history, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women earned their maiden Trophy. In a display of sheer brilliance in the Women’s Premier League, Ellyse Perry wowed everyone with her all-around skill as she led Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory with a series of commendable performances. Perry’s outstanding bat and ball skills have greatly contributed to her team’s success and earned honors, such as the Orange Cap for scoring 347 runs off 276 deliveries, including 41 boundaries and seven maximums.

“Smriti led from the front and has done an amazing job" - Ellyse Perry
“Smriti led from the front and has done an amazing job” – Ellyse Perry

Ellyse Perry boasts an impressive strike rate of 125.72 and an average of 69.4 in the tournament. Her all-round contributions extend beyond batting, as she has also scalped a total of 7 wickets, including a historic 6-fer against Mumbai Indians with a 15.57 average and 6.81 economy. She was a major contributor to the Royal Challengers Bangalore Women’s run for championship glory and blew away spectators with her extraordinary skills.

Ellyse Perry, reflecting on Bangalore’s journey, exuded joy and gratitude. She emphasized the companionship within the team, attributing their success to the collective spirit that strengthened their performances. She expressed her delight at playing in front of passionate home fans, highlighting the significance of earning the title for them. Her words resonated with the essence of sportsmanship and shared triumph, encapsulating the essence of Bangalore’s maiden victory.

She mentioned, “Just so happy. It’s been a wonderful few weeks for our team. We’ve had a lot of fun playing in front of our home fans for a large portion of the tournament and then to have won the tournament at the end for them as well. It’s just awesome. So, yes, it’s been the time of our lives.”

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Perry provided valuable insights into the evolution of women’s cricket in the country. She emphasized the remarkable growth and evolution witnessed, highlighting the sentiments of empowerment and progress. Perry commended the passionate support of Indian fans, acknowledging their unparalleled enthusiasm and dedication. For her, being a part of this transformative phase in women’s cricket was not just an honor but an attestation to the remarkable progress the sport has taken.

She stated, “I think just evolution and growth. There has been right around the world in women’s sports. But I think the power of Indian fandom and the ability to get behind a tournament when it’s up and going is sort of unrivaled really. The scale of this tournament with the crowds and the broadcast and even the licenses for the team and how much they were purchased for.”

The conversation shifted to the exceptional support from fans, not only in Delhi but throughout the nation. Perry recognized that such consistent and overwhelming support was a rarity, even for seasoned players like herself. She admired the electric atmosphere, with stadiums packed with over 20,000 passionate spectators every night. Perry recalled about the overjoyed scenes in Bangalore following their triumph, emphasizing the profound impact of fan support on the players’ morale and performance.

She acknowledged, “Night out, throughout the tournament. And then, yes, to kind of see the scenes back in Bangalore as well last night after our win, it’s pretty special.“

After experiencing a harsh season last year, winning only two matches, and then clinching the trophy this year, Perry acknowledged Smriti Mandhana’s leadership ability and stellar performances. She hailed Mandhana’s resilience and hard work in guiding Bangalore to victory, praising her calm conduct and ability to connect with teammates.

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As for individual performances, Perry expressed contentment with her contribution to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s success. She credited the team spirit encouraged by skipper Mandhana and Coach Luke, emphasizing the joy of playing for each other and the collective pursuit of excellence.

She said, “Smriti led from the front and has done an amazing job. I think she’s worked exceptionally hard as well to build this team and franchise from last year, which was a bit of a bumpy start for us, but we had a really good platform and learned a lot from that, and I think she’s gone away and done so much hard work to make sure that this season was successful for us, just nice to be able to play for one another and for Luke, our coach as well, and the rest of the support stuff.“

As this incredible season, driven by the unwavering passion, dedication, and spirit of both players and fans, draws to a close, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s victory stands as a testament to the burgeoning prominence and potential of women’s cricket in India and beyond.

(Quotes sourced from Sports Tak)

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