England opener Danielle Wyatt has been in the news among Indian cricket fans for couple of years now. Four years ago she had tweeted a marriage proposal for Virat Kohli, which created a media stir in India. Last month, she smashed a scintillating 124 off 64 balls as England scripted a new record T20I chase against India in Mumbai.
On Tuesday, she was back in the city to play in the first IPL women’s exhibition match. Playing exactly a year after the Manchester terror attacks, the IPL Supernovas player donned a jersey to commemorate the victims. The England opener was herself there at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena but escaped the suicide bombings because she left early.
Her jersey No 22 was a mark of respect to the 22 people who lost their lives in the worst terror attack in UK since the 2005 London bombings.
“I was at the concert with my friends and we luckily left one song before the end. We missed the terrible events that happened. We were just getting into the taxi when it went off. It wasn’t very nice. I’ve been thinking about it the last few days and that’s why I had No 22 on the back of my shirt for today’s game,” she told The Indian Express.
It was the same day she was named in England’s squad for the World Cup, which they won.
A year later, the World Cup winner has put the attacks behind her. “I didn’t think about [the Manchester attack] much today. I had a big game today to take my mind off it,” she was quoted as saying.
The opener, who started the Supernova’s chase with veteran Mithali Raj, hoped the exhibition game could be the start of something new for women’s cricket.
“It was a fun day today and I enjoyed playing with and against the best players in the world. Hopefully, this could be the start of something good. It was absolutely outstanding. Thanks to the BCCI and IPL to organise this event in such a short amount of time. It was a really tight finish in the end and that would have been exciting for the crowd. The overseas players really enjoyed it,” she added.
Wyatt’s team won the last-over thriller against Trailblazers by three wickets, with the winning runs coming off the last ball.