Australia opener Alyssa Healy was announced as captain of UP Warriorz for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League on Wednesday. The UP Warriorz put together a strong squad at the WPL Player Auctions in Mumbai, that consists of six overseas players including Healy.

The right-hander has played 139 T20Is for Australia, scoring close to 2500 runs, with one century and 14 fifties as well. She is also considered to be one of the best wicket-keeper batters in the sport, with 110 dismissals in T20Is.

“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,” said Healy.

“The WPL is a tournament we have all been keenly waiting on, and the UP Warriorz have a fantastic squad. Waiting to making 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.”

One of the senior-most members of the dominant Australian side, Healy has been a key cog in the wheel. At the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final in Melbourne, where a record-breaking 86,000 people watched Australia win their fifth title, she won the player of the match award for her 39-ball 75.

Healy, who held the record for the most runs scored in an innings in Women’s T20Is with a 61-ball unbeaten 148 against Sri Lanka, has won the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup five times with Australia. The 32-year-old has also won the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup twice in her illustrious career.

In 2018, Healy was named ICC T20 Player of the Year after her outstanding performances that drove Australia to a fourth ICC World T20 title.

Deepti Sharma announced Vice-Captain

Meanwhile, India all-rounder Deepti Sharma was announced as the vice-captain for the inaugural edition of the tournament. Hailing from Agra, Deepti was among the most wanted Indian players at the Auction.

The 25-year-old, who is a crucial part of the Indian women’s team set-up, is one of the few players from the country to have turned out in franchise tournaments outside India.

Deepti, who has bagged 6 wickets in five games at the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup, brings with her a wealth of experience and leadership experience and is set to play a significant role in the leadership group.

A superb spinner, a dependable batter and a gun fielder, Deepti was part of Western Storm (Super League), Sydney Thunder (WBBL), Birmingham Phoenix, and London Spirit (both The Hundred) in her stints in franchise cricket outside of India. In the 30 games that Deepti has played in franchise cricket abroad, she has picked 32 wickets, scoring 394 runs as well. In India, during the Women’s T20 Challenge, she has turned out for the Trailblazers and Velocity as well.

Deepti, one of those who the Indian captain turns to in the toughest moments, is no stranger to the big occasion in the world of cricket and has played 92 games in T20Is and is the leading wicket-taker for the Indian team, with 102 scalps to her name. While her off-break can cause havoc among the opposition batters, Deepti is as impactful a batter, having scored close to 1,000 runs in T20Is with two half-centuries to her name.

Deepti, who made her debut in T20Is in 2016, is one of the senior most members of the Indian women’s team, who were semi-finalists at the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.

“As someone from Uttar Pradesh, I am not only extremely happy to be part of the UP Warriorz team but also delighted to be named the vice-captain for the team. Along with captain Alyssa Healy, and the other senior players, we hope we can make the team function well and play some fantastic cricket. We hope our performances in the WPL can become a source of inspiration for the young women athletes in UP and we are keenly awaiting the start of the tournament,” Deepti said on her appointment as vice-captain.

The UP Warriorz side, which is coached by England’s Jon Lewis, has Anju Jain as the assistant coach, while former Australian cricketers Ashley Noffke is the bowling coach and four-time world champion Lisa Sthalekar is the team’s mentor.

UP Warriorz squad for WPL 2023: Alyssa Healy (Captain), 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.