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Royal Challengers Bangalore’s batter Heather Knight feels that the Women’s Premier League (WPL) introduction has been a big push to the game’s standard. The tournament’s inaugural edition has been an instant hit in terms of money and viewership. Five franchises have taken it further with impressive displays on the pitch to ensure rapid growth in women’s cricket worldwide.
Heather has been impressive with both bat and ball despite her team’s struggles in WPL 2023. RCB remain at the bottom of the table with just one win from their opening six games in the tournament. Heather pointed out Indian Premier League’s impact on men’s cricket since its inception in 2008 and said that the WPL has the same impact on the game.
“When the men’s IPL started, you saw a shift in the game. And that’s the case here. The money involved is crazy, and I think the standard has been robust. There are going to be so many benefits from it. It is going to push the game’s standard forward and bring in investment,” Knight said on Sky Cricket’s Daggers and Lyds podcast.
Heather also highlighted the passion for cricket in India and termed the Indian fans as the noisiest in the world.
“The passion for cricket out here (in India) is unbelievable. It’s such an amazing place to play. Cricketers here are treated like gods. They love the game so much. Indian fans are the noisiest in the world, for me,” Heather added.
RCB registered their first win of the season in their game against UP Warriorz to remain in the hunt for the Eliminator qualification. They will need big wins in their remaining two games and a bit of luck to finish in the third position in the WPL points table. Heather added that the first win of the season was celebrated with a guard of honour and rose petals shower.
“It’s funny. We got back from the ground after our first game, our first loss, and there was a big guard of honour from all the staff. We’d just lost, so we were like, ‘this is a bit embarrassing.’ Finally getting our first win, the guard of honour was back! Everyone was holding cricket bats; there were rose petals thrown from the balcony, there was champagne, and there was cake. It was a lot of fun. I can’t imagine what they will do if we turn things around and make the finals,” Heather concluded.
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