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Women's Premier League 2023

Minnu Mani to Disha Kasat: How the uncapped WPL 2023 signees fared in this Indian domestic season

Here is a look at the WPL 2023 schedule - matches begin on March 4
by Krithika V 5 minute read

The 2022/23 Indian domestic season got over, days after the WPL 2023 auctions. Krithika V looks back at how the uncapped WPL signees did at the domestic season.

This year, the BCCI made significant changes to the women’s domestic season. For the first time since 2006, the year they took control of women’s cricket in India, the BCCI introduced an U16 one-day tournament. The inter-zonal competition made a comeback for the first time since 2017/18.

They went on to organize multiple series for U19 cricketers in order to prepare them for the first World Cup in the format. At the same time, the U23 competition, which helps the girls in a smoother transition from the U19 stage to the senior level, was scrapped.


The women’s season usually runs until mid-April, but this time, it ended before March to leave the March-April window for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League. It also helped the teams identify the best talents in the country ahead of the WPL 2023 auction.

Here is how the teams performed in 2022/23:

Tournament Champions Runners-up
T20 Trophy Railways Bengal
Inter-Zonal T20 Central Zone West Zone
T20 Challenger Trophy India D India A
One-Day Trophy Railways Karnataka
Inter-Zonal One-Day North Zone Central Zone
U19 T20 Trophy Madhya Pradesh Karnataka
U19 T20 Challenger Trophy India B India C
U19 One Day Trophy Uttarakhand Mumbai

The WPL 2023 auction took place on February 13. Here is how the uncapped cricketers who were selected did this season.

Minnu Mani (Kerala and Delhi Capitals)

T20: 132 runs @ 13.20; 10 wickets, ec 5.34
One-Day: 372 runs @ 41.33; 18 wickets, ec 4.12

The 24-year-old Kerala all-rounder hails from a humble background, and has been consistent with both bat and ball over the years. However, nothing comes closer to her 85 not out against Railways – the team to beat in Indian domestic circuit – this year. Apart from her beautiful cover drive, Minnu Mani has begun to reverse-sweep more these days.

Jasia Akhtar (Punjab and Delhi Capitals)

T20: 589 runs @ 39.26
One-Day: 616 runs @ 47.38

Akhtar has struggled with consistency in the the past. She used to find it tough to read the pace, and the slower deliveries used to trouble her often. This time, she seemed to have has worked on her technique and as a result, she finished as the leading run-scorer in the recently concluded Senior One Day Trophy.

Simran Shaikh (Mumbai and UP Warriorz)

T20: 253 runs @ 29.25
One-Day: 117 runs @ 16.86

New to the Mumbai side, Shaikh, 21, bats in the middle- or lower-order, and has the license to go big right from ball one. During the final phases of the Senior T20 Trophy, Mumbai needed to up their net run rate to stand a chance for the knockouts, and the management pushed Shaikh to open against Vidarbha. The Dharavi star did not disappoint: she made 89 in 59 balls with nine fours and four sixes to help Mumbai win by 51 runs.

Kanika Ahuja (Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore)

T20: 101 runs @ 26.14; 5 wickets, ec 5.24
One-Day: 101 runs @ 25.25; 9 wickets, ec 2.83

When Jemimah Rodrigues dominated the 2017/18 U19 season with a mammoth 1,013 runs, Ahuja finished third with three half-centuries and grabbed nine wickets. She got fast-tracked immediately to the senior Punjab side after that, and has played important middle-order cameos since then. Earlier this year, in Punjab inter-district cricket, she went berserk against Fatehgarh Sahib Senior Women, scoring a 122-ball 305 not out with 45 fours and 11 sixes in a one-day match, helping Patiala Women reach 744-1 in their 50 overs.

Parunika Sisodia (Delhi and Gujarat Giants)

T20: 4 wickets, ec 4.33
One-Day: 35 wickets, ec 2.92

Sisodia, 17, was one of the youngsters to miss out on the Indian squad for the U19 World Cup. Players handle the snub in their own way, and she chose to let her performance speak. The former junior state tennis player told me before the Senior One Day Trophy that she would end up on the top of the wicket charts – and she did!

Disha Kasat (Vidarbha and Royal Challengers Bangalore)

T20: 324 runs @ 46.28; 7 wickets, ec 5.32
One-Day: 144 runs @ 28.80

Since 2019, Kasat has been Vidarbha’s leading run-scorer every tournament she played in. She also became the first Vidarbha batter to score a T20 hundred. Appointed captain in 2022, she topped the T20 run charts again, and has been a run machine throughout the season.

Right before the season, Kasat and Akhtar also featured in the Dhaka Premier Division Women’s Cricket League. This was the tournament where Bangladesh’s Marufa Akter ended as the leading wicket-taker and made heads turn with her in-swingers.

Apart from the abovementioned names, other uncapped cricketers like Shreyanka Patil and Poonam Khemnar impressed the scouts and earned WPL contracts. At the same time, there were some who were excellent this season, but unfortunate to miss out – for there were only five teams.

Sanika Chalke (Mumbai)

U19 T20: 225 runs @ 56.25
U19 One-Day: 600 runs @ 150.00

Even a couple of years ago, Chalke was almost certain to be picked for the U19 World Cup. Unfortunately, she picked up an injury the night before the U19 T20 Challengers Trophy and was ruled out of the tournament, and could not make it to the U19 World Cup either. However, within months of recovery, Sanika finished as the leading run-scorer in the U19 One Day Trophy including a double century.

Kanchan Nagwani (Vidarbha)

T20: 10 wickets, ec 5.10
One-Day: 19 wickets, ec 1.73

Nagwani’s journey has been inspirational. Right before the pandemic, she injured her ankle but did not realise the seriousness of the injury. When she found out, she had to undergo surgery immediately. She suffered more during COVID-19 as her body did not cooperate with the treatment. After months of bed rest, she underwent a long rehabilitation process and returned to the game only recently. In the recent One-Day Trophy, she ended as the most economical bowler and the second-highest wicket-taker for Vidarbha.

Other highlights of the 2022/23 season

Tamil Nadu’s dream run: This has been an excellent year for Tamil Nadu, who has managed to reach knockouts in the U15, U19 and senior tournaments for the first time in years. The U19 team made it to the knockouts for the first time since 2007/08. In the U15 tournament, G Kamalini, a product of the Super Kings Academy, ended as the leading run-scorer with three hundreds to her name – only two years after taking up cricket, that too as a bowler.

Nagaland’s Najmeen: Only 14, Najmeen has already represented Nagaland’s senior team, and was named the U15 captain this time. Her best performance, a 55-ball 74, came against Karnataka – in an innings when none of her teammates went past 14. When asked about her innings, Najmeen mentioned how Karnataka, a top side, had to use eight bowlers to dismiss her!

Watch out for Kavisha: Kavisha is yet another youngster who made heads turn in 2022/23. Having already played for the senior team, the all-rounder was named the captain of Puducherry U15. When they needed a wicketkeeper, she did that throughout the tournament. She also made 152 not out in 161 balls in the Puducherry 50-over tournament against the senior players, and 140 against the U14 Puducherry Boys team this year.

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