Women’s Premier League Takes on Top Franchise Leagues in Women’s Cricket

All stakeholders in women’s cricket have given a warm welcome to the announcement of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) made last year.

The upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL), starting in Mumbai in under two weeks, is positioned to provide stiff competition to other top-tier women’s franchise cricket leagues, such as Australia’s trailblazing Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and England’s The Hundred.

Women's Premier League (WPL)

Let’s examine how the WPL measures up against the WBBL and The Hundred.

Before the first player auction, there were 90 spots available in the Women’s Premier League (WPL), out of which 30 were reserved for overseas players. Currently, all the overseas slots have been filled, and a total of 87 players will be participating in the tournament.

In the player auction, Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Giants, and Royal Challengers Bangalore filled all 18 of their slots, while Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz secured 17 and 16 players, respectively.

In contrast, the WBBL features eight teams, each with a 16-member squad that includes three overseas players. The teams typically hire a list manager to sign players to contracts that usually run for one year or more.

The Hundred consists of 15 players, with a maximum of four being overseas players. Teams use a draft system to sign players, which is common in other franchise leagues, and they can retain an unlimited number of players as well as sign anyone from around the world.

The WPL is set to have 22 matches in a double round-robin format, which will take place at the DY Patil Stadium and Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. The tournament will have a knockout stage with the top three teams moving on to compete. The second and third-ranked teams will compete in an eliminator before facing off against the top-ranked team from the league stage in the final.

In WBBL, there are a total of 56 matches in the league stage where each team plays 14 round-robin matches – two against each of the other seven teams in the competition. The top four teams from the league stage qualify for the Finals series.

The third and fourth placed teams go head-to-head in the eliminator, with the winner progressing to the challenger match against the second-placed team. The winner of the challenger then faces the top-ranked team in the final.

The women’s league stage of The Hundred features eight city-based teams, with 24 matches in total (though it was reduced in 2022 due to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham). The majority of men’s and women’s matches were played on the same day, at the same venue, with a single ticket providing entry to both matches for fans.

After the completion of the league stage in The Hundred, the top three teams advanced to the knockout stage. The second and third-placed teams compete in a semi-final, and the victorious team from the semi-final then faces the team that finished at the top of the league in the final.

The Women’s Premier League (WPL) has a total of five teams participating, with three of them being owned by IPL franchises – Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Capitals. The remaining two teams, Gujarat Giants and UP Warriorz, are owned by Adani Sportsline, an Adani Group subsidiary, and Capri Global, respectively.

The WBBL is comprised of the same eight city-based franchises that constitute the Big Bash League (BBL), with two teams each from Melbourne and Sydney. The participating teams are the Adelaide Strikers, Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Renegades, Melbourne Stars, Perth Scorchers, Sydney Sixers, and Sydney Thunder.

The names of the eight city-based teams in The Hundred were revealed in May 2019, with each team adopting the same name as their corresponding men’s team. The teams are Welsh Fire, London Spirit, Manchester Originals, Oval Invincibles, Trent Rockets, Birmingham Phoenix, Northern Superchargers, and Southern Brave.

Coaching staff in the WBBL usually consists of a head coach, an assistant coach, a strength and conditioning coach, and a physiotherapist. In The Hundred, coaching staff typically consists of a head coach and one or two assistant coaches.

The WPL has a coaching staff that includes a head coach, assistant coach, as well as batting, bowling, and fielding coaches, in addition to mentors. For example, Jhulan Goswami holds the dual responsibilities of being the bowling coach and mentor, while Mithali Raj is the mentor-adviser for Gujarat Giants.

The WBBL was announced by Cricket Australia (CA), the country’s cricketing body, on February 19, 2015, and it began later that year. Currently, the league is entirely owned by CA.

The ownership structure of The Hundred involves all eight teams being centrally owned by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), and the players and coaches are paid by the governing body of cricket in the country. In contrast, the WPL is administered by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which also organizes the Indian Premier League.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *