Royal Challengers Bangalore have roped in tennis legend Sania Mirza as the team’s mentor for the Women’s Premier League 2023. They also announced that Australian cricket coach and current New Zealand women’s head coach Ben Sawyer as the head coach of the team.

Meanwhile, Malolan Rangarajan was appointed as the assistant coach and head of scouting. Vanitha VR is the scout and fielding coach and RX Murali is the team’s batting coach, the franchise announced on Wednesday.

On the appointment of Mirza as mentor, Rajesh V Menon, Head and Vice President of Royal Challengers Bangalore, said, “We are glad and honoured to welcome Sania Mirza as mentor of the RCB women’s team. She is the perfect role model with her success stemming out of her sheer hard work, passion, and determination, despite many challenges in her playing career.”

The winner of six Grand Slams, 43 WTA Titles and her global stature make her one of the leading role models, the RCB team management was prompted to bring her in as mentor for the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s women’s team.

Also read: Sania Mirza, a destiny fulfilled

He added, “Sania is someone our young generation looks up to and she can motivate, encourage our team as she herself has been an uber competitive player who understands how to overcome challenges and handle pressure at various situations at the highest level of sports. Her stature and gravitas as well as her attitude will inspire and bring the much needed panache to transform the team with a Bold Personality.”

WPL 2023 full schedule: Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Giants in opener at DY Patil, final on 26 March

On her appointment as the team’s mentor, Mirza, who has been honoured with Padma Bhushan, Arjuna Award and Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, said, “It is a pleasure for me to join the RCB women’s team as a mentor. Indian women’s cricket has seen a tectonic shift with the Women’s Premier League, and I am really looking forward to being a part of this revolutionary pitch.

“RCB and its brand philosophy perfectly resonates with my vision and outlook as that’s how I have approached my playing career and it’s also how I see contributing to sports post my retirement. RCB has been a popular team and much followed team in the IPL over the years. I am immensely happy to see them building a team for the Women’s Premier League as it will push the women’s sports to new heights in the country, open new doors to women cricketers and help make sports the first career choice for young girls and young parents with a girl child.”

WPL 2023 auction breakdown: Smriti Mandhana to Ash Gardner, full list of players signed by teams

The RCB acquired a team that is a mix of world’s top and most talented 18 players during the WPL auction on Monday in Mumbai. RCB had acquired the services of star India batter Smriti Mandhana and added notable international names to their squad such as Australian duo of all-rounder Ellyse Perry and medium pacer Megan Schutt, New Zealand’s captain Sophie Devine, England’s skipper Heather Knight and South African all-rounder Dane Van Niekerk along with India under-19-star Richa Ghosh.