While the business proposition of the league is still up for debate, the first thing that the franchise did was to rule it out as a Company Social Responsibility (CSR) activity.
𝗗𝗲𝗹𝗵𝗶 𝗖𝗮𝗽𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹𝘀 👉🏼 THE FIRST-EVER #TATAWPL FINALISTS ❤️💙A surreal journey awaits a thrilling end. Bring on March 2… https://t.co/2O6s1fOPyo
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1679419125000
“You don’t invest so heavily in CSR activity. We never looked at having a women’s team like that. Yes, there is a financial side to the investment. You have to run the numbers. This WPL will give returns in years to come. The response to the league says it has been a success,” Delhi Capitals CEO Dhiraj Malhotra told TOI on Saturday.
There was a short turnaround time from when Indian cricket board (BCCI) announced the league, to the auction and then the commencement of the tournament. But Capitals management had its talent-scouting machinery working from a very nascent stage. To have an extensive scouting programme as the men’s teams across the IPL was always going to be tough.
📽| #TATAWPL memories, 𝒔𝒊𝒈𝒏𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒆𝒅 😌#YehHaiNayiDilli https://t.co/NBa6cRLB9U
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1679762537000
“We hired agencies who cover women’s cricket across the country. They have the data, analysis and videos. What we also did was we had directed the entire scouting team for the men’s squad to work on women’s cricket. All the five franchises had to announce their support staff very late but we had formed the core of the team before we zeroed down on the support staff. They were provided with all the data and they worked around it,” Malhotra said.
With just five franchises, there have been very few uncapped players who got a lot of exposure. As the league grows, there needs to be a strengthening of the structure of domestic cricket across age groups which in turn will throw up more domestic names. Malhotra believes the U-19 World Cup and the WPL will create the supply line for the BCCI to strengthen its age-group cricket.
𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒆’𝒔 𝒏𝒐 𝒔𝒕𝒐𝒑𝒑𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒎 as they look to script history 👑All eyes on the 🏆 ahead of the big FINAL!… https://t.co/CjtHO4ooTg
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1679757300000
“The reason BCCI has not been able to create a robust domestic and age-group cricket compared to men’s cricket is because there hasn’t been demand as such from women cricketers. There aren’t so many cricketers like men’s. Now, with the U-19 World Cup and WPL, this will get more girls into the system. That will boost domestic cricket and there will be more talent coming through,” Malhotra, who has served as BCCI GM for game development, reckoned.
As women’s cricket grows in India, a move like Capitals setting up an academy could help provide these girls good exposure. “We do have girls coming to our DC academies. There have been more girls who just played the game as recreation. But this WPL will motivate them to stick to the sport,” Malhotra said.