Following the third set of the TATA WPL 2024 Player Auction in Mumbai, representatives from UP Warriorz and Mumbai Indians, Kshemal Waingankar and Charlotte Edwards respectively, offered their insights during a press conference. They discussed team strategies and expressed their views on the auction process.
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Reporter: Well, Charlotte, how do you look forward to the second edition of the WPL, and how much pressure do you think there is on the team?
Charlotte Edwards: We are excited for the next edition. Everyone involved enjoyed the first edition and we were really happy that we won the competition. It was a wonderful spectacle for the women’s game. I don’t feel any pressure. We want to win every tournament, so that’s pressure in itself. Hopefully, we can do as well as we did last year. I’m really happy with what we’ve picked up so far in the auction.
Reporter: Charlotte, you went all out for Shana Ismail. Is she someone you are looking at as the potential pace spearhead for MI considering all her experience and know-how of franchise T20 Cricket?
Charlotte Edwards: Yes, she’s been a wonderful fast bowler for several years and is someone we had in mind. We thought she was going to go for more money than she did, and we feel very fortunate to have picked her up. We truly believe she’s going to strengthen our squad. We wanted to improve our squad, and we feel like we’ve done that with her addition.
Reporter: Hi, Shemal, what was thinking behind going forward for NDA and Kafi?
Shemal Waingankar: We looked at our squad last year and wanted to fill the gaps. Indian talent is going to be at a premium. We couldn’t pick some of the players from the Indian squad last year, so we wanted to strengthen our balance a bit more. The next crop of cricketers is coming through, and this is the opportunity for us to bring them on board.
Reporter: Charlotte, I think Kadi Core is a left-arm wrist spinner. We’ve never seen a player of that kind in the WPL before. Whose idea was it to get her on board, and what made you bid for her?
Charlotte Edwards: I turned up on Tuesday and went to the training ground in Mumbai, and I saw this girl straight away. She was someone the scouts had talked to me about. Seeing her for the first time, we were very excited.
We thought she was going to be high up on other people’s lists. We are very happy to have her in our camp. With what she does, it’s very different. We wanted to bring something with a bit of X-factor to our squad, and we might have that in her.
Reporter: Can you say something about your interest in Annabel and the disappointment of not acquiring her?
Charlotte Edwards: Going into this auction, there were three main targets: Annabel, Chiari, and Ishmael. We hadn’t got the biggest purse but wanted to go all out to try and get them. We narrowly missed out on Annabel, who I think is one of the best all-rounders in world cricket at the moment.
That’s a great addition to Delhi. Ishmael was high up on our list as well, so we are thankful to pick up Ishmael. We pushed as hard as we could.
Reporter: Shemal, as someone who’s also been associated with the BCCI, do you hope this league throws up Indian talent which eventually helps the Indian team?
Shemal Waingankar: I’m very confident this league will bring up a lot of talent. It’s an aspirational league. Players coming through the ranks will develop knowing what to expect, what to strive for, and what the international standards are.
They’ll prepare from the age of 14 onwards. All the young kids going forward will look to this. Within three or four years, you will probably see some of the highest-paid players in the league being only Indian players.
Reporter: How do you nurture a talent that you notice and then acquire in the auction?
Shemal Waingankar: Thankfully, we have a larger window with the women’s setup. We bring coaches with experience who have worked with talent before and try to get them as much time as possible within those windows.
Each one caters to their plans, and we work on that. The BCCI does so much in terms of the development of talent, within a national cricket academy with the tours. We just supplement what they do. We hope all the teams can do that, and world cricket grows and benefits with that.
Reporter: Last question.
Reporter: Hi Charlotte. Since you mentioned that Ariba was also on your radar, would you concede that given her name did not come up at the top, it worked against her, there is still a possibility, perhaps she might be picked, but there is also the possibility she might not be for a second auction in a row. How do you explain that?
Charlotte Edwards: She wasn’t necessarily on our radar, but I thought she was going to be one of the top three picks. But I’m shocked that she didn’t get taken. At the moment I’m certain she probably will in this next bit. She’s a high-quality player who’s performed brilliantly over the last 12 months in franchise crickets. So, we’ll have to wait and see what the next half brings.