Batting allrounder Dayalan Hemalatha who was picked at the auction by the Gujarat Giants for the inaugural Women’s Premier League for INR 30 Lakh hopes that the marquee tournament will set up a platform which will allow more young women cricketers to take up the game.
She said, “A lot of young talented players from domestic level are playing in this tournament, which is good to see. The WPL will help our performances get more noticed because of the platform it will provide. There is a lot of excitement around it. It’s been a long time coming and now the wait is over.”
“I started playing cricket when I was 18 years old and I didn’t bowl then but was only a fielder. Prior to that, I was not sure what kind of opportunities were there for the women’s cricket. But now the time has changed. There is more gender equality in the game. Women’s cricket is growing and it will continue to grow from here.” she added.
Hemalatha, a middle-order batter who bowls crucial overs of spin in T20s, was part of the winning team in all three women’s T20 domestic tournaments this season with the Railways in the Senior T20 Trophy, in the Central Zone in Interzonal Trophy and for India-D in Challenger Trophy.
The 29-year-old also spoke on the condition of the pitches in Mumbai. She said, “I have played a lot of games in Mumbai, so it’s quite familiar to me. I feel a lot of players will be more than happy to play in Mumbai. The pitches are good and high-scoring. I am looking forward to give my best for the Gujarat Giants every time I am on the field.”
Hemalatha who made her WT20I debut in November 2018 against New Zealand Women talked about playing for Gujrat Giants. The middle-order batter said, “I am excited to be part of Gujarat Giants. I would like to thank the management for showing trust in me and taking me in the squad. I am looking forward to my first game.”
Gujarat Giants has some of the most impactful names in the game in their squad, with the likes of Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, Deandra Dottin and Sophia Dunkley. And Hemalatha is keen to be around them, and pick their brains as the season goes on.
“I have played against them,” she said. “We have a good set of all-rounders in our time.”
“The team is well-balanced. We have a good mix of youth and experienced players. I will learn a lot from the senior players in the team. Our support and coaching staff have tons of experience which I am sure the players will benefit from. I want to learn and talk to the international players. I want to understand their thought process, which will improve me as an individual,” she added.
Gujarat Giants will open their campaign in the 2023 WPL on Matchday 1 itself, when they take on the Mumbai Indians Women at 730pm on 4 March.
Gujarat Giants Squad: Beth Mooney (Captain), Sneh Rana (Vice-Captain), Ashleigh Gardner, Sophia Dunkley, Annabel Sutherland, Harleen Deol, Deandra Dottin, S Meghana, Georgia Wareham, Mansi Joshi, Dayalan Hemalatha, Monica Patel, Tanuja Kanwer, Sushma Verma, Hurley Gala, Ashwani Kumari, Parunika Sisodia, Shabman Shakil