WPL 2023: RCB is loaded with a lot of experience and superstars, says Aakash Chopra

by IANS |

Mumbai, Feb 27 (IANS) With the inaugural edition of the Women's Premier League (WPL) set to begin from March 4 here, former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have formed a team which has a heavy blend of experience and superstars.

RCB, captained by India's left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana, will be beginning their campaign in the WPL from March 5 against the Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne stadium in an afternoon game. Apart from Smriti, pacer Renuka Singh Thakur and wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh are there from an Indian perspective.

RCB's foreign picks are experienced in New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine, England captain Heather Knight, South Africa's long-time captain Dane van Niekerk, and Australia's premier all-rounder Ellyse Perry and pacer Megan Schutt.

"What's special about the team is that they have gathered a lot of captains. They took Smriti Mandhana, Ellyse Perry, who they got for a very low price, Heather Knight, Sophie Devine, and they built a great team."

"If we have to talk about the Indian line-up, then with Smriti Mandhana, they took Richa Ghosh and Renuka Singh Thakur, and if we look at their Top 7, they are a very strong team to look at."

"Smriti Mandhana has already been appointed as the captain of the team with jersey number 18, similar to Virat Kohli having the same jersey number and being the captain of the team," said Chopra on JioCinema's daily sports show '#AakashVani'

Talking about Renuka and Richa, Chopra said, "In terms of bowling, the team has Renuka Singh Thakur, which is a great acquisition for the simple reason that there are not many Indian fast bowlers, and Renuka Singh Thakur at this point in time is the best fast bowler in the country, and she is in the team along with the best batter in the country as well."

"The player who can play best in the T20 format is Richa Ghosh, whom they have, and in today's scenario, Richa bats really well in the lower order. So RCB is loaded with a lot of experience and superstars, with the best batter, best bowler, and best striker in Richa Ghosh."

Chopra also feels that women cricketers in the WPL have an edge over their male counterparts in the IPL as far as pay is concerned. "RCB has always been an interesting franchisee. If we look at their men's team, there has always been Virat Kohli; big players like AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle have been there, along with Glen Maxwell and Faf du Plessis - they love having marquee players like these who look good on the billboard."

"So, what they did for the women's team is, they took Smriti Mandhana for 3.4 crore; it's a tournament for 3 weeks, and you are getting 3.4 crore for 3 weeks. In the men's tournament, they have to play for 8 weeks, and in those 8 weeks, they get thrice the amount of 10 crore. Not a single bowl has been bowled in the WPL, and if we talk about pay parity, then women are doing a lot better than men."

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