City pride at stake: Daring Delhi face doughty Mumbai in pinnacle cricket showdown

23 February,2024 05:55 PM IST |  Bengaluru  |  mid-day online correspondent

The opening match of the WPL 2024 could be the perfect tone-setter for Delhi, as they would be looking forward to moving past the heartbreak of last year`s loss to Mumbai

Mumbai Indians` captain Harmanpreet Kaur (R) and Delhi Capitals` captain Meg Lanning (C) shake hands during the toss (Pic: AFP)

The WPL 2024 will kickstart from Friday, with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) set to take on last year's runners-up Delhi Capitals in a high-octane tournament opener in Bengaluru.

The opening match of the WPL 2024 could be the perfect tone-setter for Delhi, as they would be looking forward to moving past the heartbreak of last year's loss to Mumbai in the finals and securing the gold. Meg Lanning would have her eyes set on the gold, hoping to hold the newest championship title of women's franchise cricket after conquering international cricket Australia all over the world.

UP Warriorz, who fell just two steps short of the title after losing in the eliminator would also be looking to go a couple steps ahead and capture the prestigious trophy, with England star Danni Wyatt and some new Indian domestic talent joining the team.

For Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Gujarat Giants, who held the bottom two positions in the points table last time, it will be an opportunity to start afresh and deliver as per their potential. Gujarat in particular, will be boosted by the return of their star skipper Beth Mooney, who could not play last season due to injury. Skipper Smriti Mandhana will also be looking to find her best form as her batting will be crucial in the star-studded line-up.

DC skipper Lanning said in a video posted by WPL ahead of the tournament, "Our preparations have been great and it is great to witness improvement from some local Indian talent, they have been working really hard. We are really excited and came together as a team a little earlier, which is nice."

Also Read: 'Smriti in confident space with her cricket, leadership': RCB coach Luke William

MI skipper Harmanpreet Kaur also said that the team spent some quality time in nets and played some warm-up games.

"We spent some quality time in the nets, and some warm-up matches ahead of the tournament. We had a great time together and looking forward to the game," said Harmanpreet.

Ahead of the tournament, Mandhana, the RCB skipper said, "Preparations have been really good. For last eight days, we have had an amazing camp and also had a great camp for domestic girls over the last one year. We also connected over video calls few times. A fun group to be around."

UP Warriorz captain Alyssa Healy also said that the team has spent 10 days in the camp working hard on their skills.

"The team has been working really hard and is excited to get the tournament underway. WPL is exciting and entertaining," said Healy.

Lastly, Gujarat Giants skipper Beth Mooney said, "We are super excited. There is a great buzz around the group. Young Indian players especially are really looking forward to the tournament."

(With agency inputs)

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