At the end of a significant and momentous player auction ahead of the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League, Mrs Nita M. Ambani, owner of Mumbai Indians, hailed the auction as ‘a very special day for women’s cricket.’
“Auctions are always exciting but today was really special. It was the first auction (for WPL), so today was really a historic day. More than all the names and figures today, it was overwhelming to see everyone cheering and celebrating the wonderful talent of women cricketers.”
Mrs. Nita M. Ambani was joined by Akash Ambani at the auction alongside Mahela Jayawardene, Global Head of Performance, MI, and the newly-formed coaching team for the women’s team – Charlotte Edwards (Head Coach), Jhulan Goswami (Team Mentor and Bowling Coach) and Devieka Palshikaar (Batting Coach).
Given her passion for sports and commitment on encouraging more women and girls to play sports, Mrs. Ambani was happy with the player selections and securing the India captain very early. “As a team, we are very happy with the way the auction panned out. We are very happy to get the Indian captain at Mumbai Indians, where we already have the men’s captain. We are also very excited to see Nat (Sciver-Brunt) in the team, Pooja (Vastrakar) and all the talented women who are joining the MI family.”
The upcoming edition of the IPL will also mark the tenth anniversary of Rohit Sharma taking charge of the franchise and Mrs Ambani was extremely enthused about the prospect of having both the Indian captains turn out for the MI family.
“I have seen Rohit (Sharma) grow from a player to captain at Mumbai Indians and this year, we complete 10 years of Rohit as a captain for Mumbai Indians. We are now welcoming Harman (Harmanpreet Kaur) to the MI family.”
Mrs Ambani also drew parallels between two of the most successful captains in the history of T20Is.
“Both of them come with great experience, professionalism and a winning mentality. They are a huge inspiration to all our youngsters. So, we are really excited to have both these players.”
She also hailed the achievements of both the U19 as well as the senior Women in Blue. “Our U19 women’s cricket team won the World Cup and that has brought so much joy to the nation. My congratulations to them. Our (senior) women’s team, too, did so well in their opening match at the T20 World Cup.”
The first Indian woman to be a part of the International Olympic Committee, Mrs Ambani said that the WPL could be a potential turning point for the sporting landscape for women in India.
“In India, sports for women is at a turning point. All our young girls are doing so well and I feel so proud just looking at them.”
Reliance Foundation has been a big supporter of sportswomen over the years and Mrs Ambani said that the support to them make her immensely proud. “More power to these young girls. It is a matter of great pride that we are able to support and promote women in sports and in cricket, not only in India, but internationally.”
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