Indian batting all-rounder Dayalan Hemalatha, who was picked at the auction by the Gujarat Giants for the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) for Rs 30 Lakh, hopes that the marquee tournament will set up a platform which will allow more young women cricketers to take up the game.
Dayalan has represented the country in 15 T20Is, having scored 90 runs in 13 innings, with the best score of 20. She has also taken nine wickets in the shorter format, with the best bowling figures of 3/15.
“A lot of young talented players from the 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 has been a long time coming and now the wait is over,” she said, according to press release from Gujarat Giants,
“I started playing cricket when I was 18 years old and I did not bowl then but was only a fielder. Prior to that, I was not sure what kind of opportunities were there for 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 is 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 giving 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 Gujarat Giants. The middle-order batter said, “I am excited to be part of Gujarat Giants. I want to thank the management for showing trust in me and taking me in the squad. I am looking forward to my first game.”
The Adani 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. We have a good set of all-rounders in our time,” said Hemalatha.
“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 international players. I want to understand their thought process, which will improve me as an individual,” she added.
The Adani 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 March 4.
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. (ANI)