Women’s Premier League 2023 Preview: Gujarat Giants

THE inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) competition kicks off on the weekend, which is the women’s equivalent of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and is set to revolutionise the women’s game in much the same way.

In the lead up to the tournament, Rookie Me Central will take a deep dive into each of the team’s individually and take a look at who is a part of their respective inaugural sides.

In today’s preview, we take a look at the Gujarat Giants.

Unlike most teams in the inaugural WPL, Gujarat Giants are a brand new franchise, not connected to an existing men’s Indian Premier League team. Although unlikely to affect them on field, it will be interesting to see what affect that does that.

There is a distinct Australian flavour to the inaugural Giants squad, but when you realise who the inaugural coach is it is less of a surprise.

The inaugural Gujarat coach is none other than former Australian vice-captain and opening batter Rachael Haynes, and Haynes also has Indian royalty in her corner, with former Indian star batter Mithali Raj mentoring the side this season.

Haynes will be looking to four of her former teammates in particular to help guide the Giants through their inaugural season.

Fresh off her Player of the Match performance in the T20 World Cup final, Beth Mooney will be inaugural captain of the Giants and look to continue her excellent recent form into the WPL.

Ash Gardner was the second most expensive player at the draft and is one of the most in form players in the world at the moment so will be crucial with bot and ball for the Giants.

Annabel Sutherland is a rising force in the Australian time, and can be dangerous with both bat and ball in hand, while Georgia Wareham has had a dramatic return to play following recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, and at full flight is very lethal with the ball.

However the four Aussies are not the only international faces in the inaugural Giants side.

Big hitting West Indian Deandra Dottin and English star Sophia Dunkley will both be making Gujarat home this season and will both be keen to make an impact with their explosive batting capabilities.

Of the Indian contingent in Gujarat’s squad, the big names are not as big as some of the other teams, but the Giants do have the likes of Indian national team regulars Sneh Rana and Harleen Deol in their squad. Rana is also the team’s vice-captain for the inaugural season.

Gujarat Giants 2023 Squad

Ashleigh Gardner (AUS), Beth Mooney (AUS), Georgia Wareham (AUS), Annabel Sutherland (AUS), Deandra Dottin (WI), Sophia Dunkley (ENG), Sneh Rana, Sushma Verma, Tanuja Kanwer, Harleen Deol, Ashwani Kumari, Dayalan Hemalatha, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, Sabbineni Meghana, Hurley Gala, Parunika Sisodia, Shabnam Shakil

Gujarat Giants 2023 Fixture (All times AEDT)

March 5 – 1am – Gujarat Giants vs Mumbai Indians

March 6 – 1am – UP Warriorz vs Gujarat Giants

March 9 – 1am – Gujarat Giants vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

March 12 – 1am – Gujarat Giants vs Delhi Capitals

March 15 – 1am – Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Giants

March 17 – 1am – Delhi Capitals vs Gujarat Giants

March 19 – 1am – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Giants

March 20 – 9pm – Gujarat Giants vs UP Warriorz

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