WPL: Alyssa Healy to lead UP Warriorz

Alyssa Healy
Australia's Alyssa Healy celebrates after scoring a fifty against Sri Lanka in the Women's T20 World Cup last week. File photo: AFP/Marco Longari

New Delhi: UP Warriorz on Wednesday named talismanic Australia wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy as their captain ahead of the inaugural season of the Women's Premier League (WPL) to be held in Mumbai from March 4 to 26.

Alyssa, one of the most recognised faces in the sport, is a seasoned campaigner, having played 139 games for Australia in T20Is, scoring close to 2,500 runs, with one century and 14 fifties as well. She is also considered to be one of the best wicketkeeper-batters in the sport, with 110 dismissals in T20Is.

One of the senior-most members of the dominant Australian side, Alyssa has been a key cog in the wheel and is known to reserve her best performances for the biggest stages, such as slamming a fantastic 75 from 39 balls in the 2020 Women's T20 World Cup final against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

"I am delighted to have the chance to captain the UP Warriorz in the inaugural edition of the historic WPL that will be played in Mumbai. The WPL is a tournament we have all been keenly waiting on, and the UP Warriorz have a fantastic squad, waiting to make a splash once things get going."

"We have a good mix of experience and youth along with ability and look forward to putting on a show for our fans. We are here to win and be ruthless in our brand of cricket," said Alyssa in an official statement issued by the franchise.

Alyssa also held the record for the most runs scored in an innings in Women's T20Is with a 61-ball unbeaten 148 against Sri Lanka. She has won the Women's T20 World Cup five times with Australia, apart from winning the Women's ODI World twice in her international career.

In 2018, Alyssa was named ICC T20 Player of the Year after her outstanding performances that drove her nation to a fourth ICC World T20 title. In 2020, she was named player of the match in Australia's T20 World Cup final victory over India.

"Alyssa is a giant of the game and has an immense amount of experience at the highest level, and also has the winning habit which we want in our team. We hope that the UP Warriorz can make significant strides in this important journey under the leadership of Alyssa Healy, and go on to be a source of joy and inspiration for the women of UP. I wish the team all the best," said Rajesh Sharma, Managing Director, Capri Global Holdings Private Limited, owners of UP Warriorz.

The side is coached by England's Jon Lewis, with Anju Jain as the assistant coach, while former Australian cricketer Ashley Noffke is bowling coach and four-time World Champion Lisa Sthalekar is the team's mentor. UP Warriorz will open their campaign on March 5, when they face the Gujarat Giants in the second match of the day at the D Y Patil Stadium.

UP Warriorz squad: Alyssa Healy (capt), Sophie Ecclestone, Deepti Sharma, Tahlia McGrath, Shabnim Ismail, Anjali Sarvani, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Parshavi Chopra, Shweta Sehrawat, S Yashasri, Kiran Navgire, Grace Harris, Devika Vaidya, Lauren Bell, Laxmi Yadav, Simran Shaikh.

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