Deepti Sharma becomes latest player to bat for WIPL

Smriti Mandhana praises Hannah Darlington's composed leadership

Hannah Darlington, Deepti Sharma and Smriti Mandhana © Getty Images

India allrounder Deepti Sharma joined the long list of players to talk about the need for a Women's Indian Premier League (WIPL) in the near future. Currently playing for Sydney Thunder in the seventh edition of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), Sharma said that there should be an IPL for the women similar to that of the men's edition.

"Yes, it should definitely happen. There are so many leagues outside, like the Big Bash and The Hundred. Super League (Women's Cricket Super League in England) also used to take place earlier. All these leagues provide a much-needed platform for girls. We get more matches which help us groom better,” Sharma said in a virtual media interaction organised by Sony Sports on Tuesday (November 16).

"We have a domestic T20 tournament, but if we have an IPL, there will be more competition. I think the BCCI is working in overdrive to organise a WIPL. The quicker it is done, the better it will be for women’s cricket."

Earlier, the likes Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues and Punam Raut have spoken about how big an advantage it would be for the players to have at least a five-six team Women's IPL.

Speaking about her experience playing for Thunder, Sharma said that head coach Trevor Griffin has been helpful and guided her through any issues the allrounder might have.

“The players are assigned roles, and you know about your batting and bowling positions which makes it easier to perform. You get a sense of freedom which allows you to give your best,” she said.

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While Sharma has had a good tournament with the ball, she hasn't lit up the tournament with her batting. The off-spinning allrounder has taken ten wickets and scored 156 runs in nine innings. Often batting in the lower-order, Sharma had very few opportunities to build an innings in the tournament.

The early collapse at the top certainly did not help Sharma and Thunder's cause. Currently placed seventh in the points table, Thunder have three more games to go and have very little chance of making it to the knockouts this season.

For India, Sharma has often batted in the middle-order, especially in the last couple of years. When asked her preferred batting position, the allrounder said that she likes batting in the top-order before adding, "I can play freely and have the time to settle in and can maximise my contribution for the team, but at the same time, it also depends on what the team needs. You play according to the situation. I'm comfortable in any position."

On moving from one bio-bubble to another and the difficulties they pose, Sharma said that players could express themselves a bit more if they are not in a stressful bubble.

"Bio-bubble is very difficult. You have to quarantine. You get tired. Your brain doesn't work as much. That is a difficult phase. Players will play a lot more free if bio-bubbles are not there," Sharma added.

ALSO READ: Deepti Sharma: made for the long haul

On the learnings from her stint in WBBL07, Sharma said that playing alongside the international stars would be helpful for her and the Indian team when they come up against the other sides in the ODI World Cup next year.

“We are playing with players who will participate in next year’s World Cup, so we know their strengths and weaknesses. This makes it easier for us to understand them and will help us in our preparation,” she concluded.

Viewers in India can catch all the matches of Women's Big Bash League live on Sony Six and Sony Six HD. The matches will also be live streamed on the Sony Liv website and app. Deepti Sharma will be in action when Sydney Thunder take on Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat respectively on November 17 and 19 from 1:35 IST.