LUCKNOW: Ace Indian all-rounder Deepti Sharma, for whom the Capri Global Holdings Private Limited-owned franchise UP Warriorz broke the bank at the Women's Premier League (WPL) auction, was announced as the vice-captain for the inaugural edition of the tournament on Saturday.
Hailing from Agra, Deepti was among the most wanted Indian players at the Auction. The 25-year-old, who is a crucial part of the Indian women's team set-up, is one of the few players from the country to have turned out in franchise tournaments outside India.
Deepti, who has bagged 6 wickets in five games at the 2023 Women's T20 World Cup, brings with her a wealth of experience and leadership experience and is set to play a significant role in the leadership group.
A superb spinner, a dependable batter and a gun fielder, Deepti was part of Western Storm (Super League), Sydney Thunder (Women's Big Bash League), Birmingham Phoenix, and London Spirit (both The Hundred) in her stints in franchise cricket outside of India.
In the 30 games that Deepti has played in franchise cricket abroad, she has picked 32 wickets, scoring 394 runs as well. In India, during the Women's T20 Challenge, she has turned out for the Trailblazers and Velocity as well. Deepti, one of those who the Indian captain turns to in the toughest moments, is no stranger to the big occasion in the world of cricket and has played 92 games in T20Is and is the leading wicket-taker for the Indian team, with 102 scalps to her name.
While her off-break can cause havoc among the opposition batters, Deepti is as impactful a batter, having scored close to 1,000 runs in T20Is with two half-centuries to her name. Deepti, who made her debut in T20Is in 2016, is one of the senior-most members of the Indian women's team, who were semi-finalists at the 2023 Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.
"As someone from Uttar Pradesh, I am not only extremely happy to be part of the UP Warriorz team but also delighted to be named the vice-captain for the team. Along with captain Alyssa Healy, and the other senior players, we hope we can make the team function well and play some fantastic cricket.
We hope our performances in the WPL can become a source of inspiration for the young women athletes in UP and we are keenly awaiting the start of the tournament," Deepti said in a statement. "Deepti Sharma is one of the most talented Indian cricketers and we are confident that her leadership qualities will shine through and she will be able to have a big impact.
The whole state of Uttar Pradesh is going to be watching their favourite daughter, and we are keen to see her succeed in her new role as vice-captain of the UP Warriorz," said Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director, Capri Global Holdings Private Limited.
The UP Warriorz side, which is coached by England's Jon Lewis, has Anju Jain as the assistant coach, while former Australian cricketers Ashley Noffke is the bowling coach and 4-time World Champion Lisa Sthalekar is the team's mentor.
The Women's Premier League is set to be played in Mumbai from March 4-26, 2023. A total of 22 matches will be played with the Brabourne Stadium & DY Patil Stadium playing hosts to the marquee tournament. The UP Warriorz will open their campaign on March 5, with the second game of the day when they face the Gujarat Giants at the DY Patil Stadium.
UP Warriorz Squad: Alyssa Healy (Captain), Sophie Ecclestone, Deepti Sharma, Tahlia McGrath, Shabnim Ismail, Anjali Sarvani, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Parshavi Chopra, Shweta Sehrawat, S Yashasri, Kiran Navgire, Grace Harris, Devika Vaidya, Lauren Bell, Laxmi Yadav, Simran Shaikh.
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