ANI Photo | “Not prioritising any specific skillset”: Delhi Capitals coach Batty ahead of 2024 WPL auction

Ahead of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction, Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Jonathan Batty said that the team is not prioritizing a specific skillset and wants to get some fine match-winners for their side during the auction.
The WPL season two auction will take place on Saturday.
Delhi Capitals has released three players, Aparna Mondel, Jazia Akhter and Tara Norris, freeing up three slots, including an overseas player slot.
DC still has top international talent like skipper and Australian legend Meg Lanning, Indian stars Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Varma, Shikha Pandey and international stars Jess Jonassen and Marizanne Kapp. It also includes young talents like Titas Sadhu, India’s U19 T20 World Cup and Asian Games gold winner and England all-rounder Alice Capsey.
Talking to ANI about the auction strategy, Batty said, “I think it was clear after last year’s auction that we have the strong 18-player squad. Now, we have freed up three slots and are trying to sign players with varying skillsets, which will help us make our starting 11 stronger and our squad much deeper. We are not prioritizing any specific skillset, we are just looking at the best players, match-winners we can bring in.”
On the experience of coaching the side last season and hopes heading into this new one, Batty said that it has been a great experience for him and they want to lift the trophy this time. DC was defeated by Mumbai Indians in the final in the inaugural WPL this year.
“It was a brilliant tournament. I loved it. We were lucky to accumulate not only a set of great players, but also great people. We had fun last season. We worked really hard, played some exciting cricket. We would like to do better than last year. We were the best team last year but could not go through the final hurdle,” said the coach.
Talking about the preparations for the 2024 season, the coach said that the team held two off-season camps for local players in Bengaluru and Delhi, who were not playing any international cricket.
“We are also making sure that we have the right information on Indian domestic talent,” he added.
Talking about Australian legend Lanning, who is also the skipper of the side, Batty said that he worked with the Aussie star in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) during his stint with Melbourne Stars and she is awesome to work with.
“She is an all-time great player and captain. I enjoyed working with her in Delhi and in Melbourne Stars. I learn from her all the time. Also players loved having her as a captain last year. She will go down as one of the greatest leaders in the game. She is brilliant,” said Batty.
Back in November, Lanning shocked the world by announcing that she was retiring from international cricket with an immediate effect.
The ultra-consistent right-hander took the captaincy reins from Jodie Fields at the start of 2014 and it was never looking back for her from there, as she led her country with aplomb on 182 occasions and to five ICC titles during a golden run for Australia cricket.
More titles followed for Australia under the watchful eye of Lanning and the fearsome leader also led her country to a gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
In six Tests, Lanning scored 345 runs at an average of 31.36, with a best individual score of 93, with two half-centuries.
Lanning finished her career with a total of 17 international centuries, with 15 of those coming in 50-over cricket and a career-best 152* against Sri Lanka in Bristol in 2017. That tally of 15 centuries is the most in women’s ODI cricket, with New Zealand veteran Suzie Bates her closest rival with 12.
In 132 T20Is, Lanning scored 3,405 runs in 121 innings at an average of 36.61 and a strike rate of above 116. She scored two centuries and 15 fifties, with the best score of 133*.
Lanning’s last international match was when she fittingly led her country to the T20 World Cup title in South Africa earlier this year.
On young stars Alice Capsey, who impressed with her hitting last season and Titas, India’s rising pace star, Batty said that DC is proud of how they are going in their careers and to have played a small role in their development as players.
“We are proud to see how these youngsters are doing. Alice has gone strength to strength with England and Titas, who did not play a game last time, she worked extremely hard during the last season and she has been brilliant this year while playing for the senior Indian side. We are proud of playing a small part in her development. Could be an exciting tournament for both girls,” said Batty.
Alice played some fine knocks for DC last season, scoring 159 runs in eight games with a strike rate of over 155, with the best score of 38. She has also scored 424 runs for England, including three fifties and taken three wickets in 22 T20Is for England.
Titas, who has played two T20Is for India and has taken four wickets, won the ‘Player of the Match’ award in the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year and finished with six wickets in the tournament.
DC’s Retained players: Alice Capsey*, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Jess Jonassen*, Laura Harris*, Marizanne Kapp*, Meg Lanning*, Minnu Mani, Poonam Yadav, Radha Yadav, Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Sneha Deepthi, Taniyaa Bhatia and Titas Sadhu.
Released players: Aparna Mondal, Jasia Akhter and Tara Norris. (ANI)

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