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WBBL’s best Harmanpreet champions women’s IPL cause

Harmanpreet Kaur. Photo: Cricket Australia

Melbourne, Nov 25 (MNN) Harmanpreet Kaur has leveraged her Weber WBBL dominance to again champion the creation of a women’s IPL as the all- rounder became the first Indian to be crowned Player of the Tournament.

The Melbourne Renegades talent and India captain was voted the competition’s best player across the regular season in a 3-2-1 system by the umpires. She garnered 31 votes to narrowly deny Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine their second and third gong respectively.

Established in 2008, the IPL has become the centre of the T20 cricket universe but is still without a women’s equivalent.

Harmanpreet has long broken barriers as the first Indian women to play in the WBBL and England’s Super League and said her performances were the best form of persuasion.

“We have been looking at this for a long time and I hope soon this women’s IPL will also start and we will also invite overseas players over there so that they can also share their experience with our domestic players,” she said.

“This is something we are really waiting for … performance is something which is in our hands and that’s what we have been doing and the rest of the things are totally dependent on BCCI and the cricket board.

“We can’t do something extra on that, but we can only request and that’s what we have done for many years.”

Harmanpreet also backed the move for her and seven compatriots to play in Australia ahead of March’s 50-over World Cup in New Zealand, rather than at home.

“The conditions are very similar to Australian wickets, so the experience will give me lots of confidence and the other girls,” she said.

“The WBBL is something that has a very, very big platform back home.

“Every Indian wants to play in this league and I was the first one who got this opportunity to play and today, winning this player of the tournament definitely gives lots of confidence to Indian girls also.”

One of eight Indian players to feature in this season’s seventh edition, Kaur starred with 399 runs at an average of 66.5 and a strike rate of 135.25.

She was also the side’s top wicket-taker with 15 scalps at an average of 20.4 and an economy rate of less than eight, despite bowling largely during the power play.

The Renegades enter the finals series in second place, needing to win the Challenger Final against the winner of Brisbane Heat and Adelaide Strikers on Thursday for the right to face Perth Scorchers in Saturday’s final.

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