WPL overseas debutants to keep an eye on in 2024

The Women’s Premier League (WPL) is all set to get underway with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) facing Meg Lanning’s Delhi Capitals (DC) in the opening game on Friday, February 23 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

Last year in December, the auction took place and the 5 franchises filled their gaps in their squad after letting go of a few players from the last season. In the upcoming editions, some new faces from the world of cricket will be on show.

All-rounders who could set the WPL 2024 alight   

Overseas debutants to watch out for in WPL 2024

Phoebe Litchfield

Phoebe Litchfield is one of the most talented young batters going around in the world. At the age of 20, the southpaw has already played some match-winning hands, both for Australia and Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

In the ODI series against India, Litchfield opened the batting and got scores of 78, 63 and 119. The left-handed batter is also flexible as she bats in the middle-order for her national team in the WBBL.

In fact, Litchfield holds the record for the joint-fastest half-century in Women’s T20Is off 18 balls when she achieved the feat against West Indies last year at the North Sydney Oval.

Litchfield was the first cricketer to go under the hammer in the auction and the Gujarat Giants roped her in at a price of INR 1 crore. While playing for the Giants, Litchfield will also have Beth Mooney and Ash Gardner as her teammates from the Australian national team.

Chamari Athapaththu

Chamari Athapaththu has been the torchbearer of Sri Lanka women’s cricket for over a decade. The fact that she went unsold in both the WPL auctions raised a lot of eyebrows. However, the rub of the green went her way after UP Warriorz picked her as a replacement for England’s Lauren Bell.

Bell pulled out of the WPL to be a part of England’s T20I squad for the 5-match series against New Zealand. Last year, Athapaththu was ignored in the WBBL drafts after which she went on to win the Player of the Tournament award.

Apart from being a powerful striker of the cricket ball, Athapaththu is more than handy with the ball in hand. Having played 98 ODIs and 122 T20Is for Sri Lanka since her debut back in 2009.

WPL 2024
Photo by Icon Sport

Danni Wyatt

Danni Wyatt went unsold in the auction for the 2023 edition of the WPL. However, she found a buyer after UP Warriorz bought her in the auction for INR 30 lakhs. Having scored 2602 runs from 151 T20Is for England since making her debut back in 2010, Wyatt remains one of the most dangerous batters in the women’s game.

Wyatt also has a decent record while playing in India. In 18 T20Is on Indian soil, the 32-year-old has scored 459 runs at an average of 30.60. Back in March 2018, she notched her top score of 124 against India at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.

Wyatt also scored 73 in one of the T20Is when England toured India for a bilateral series back in December 2023.

Kathryn Bryce

Kathryn Bryce became the first Scottish cricketer to play in the WPL after Gujarat Giants picked her up in the auction at her base price. Being an associate cricketer, there is every chance for Bryce to make her debut as the Giants will have the luxury of playing 5 foreign cricketers.

In 40 T20Is for Scotland, Bryce has picked up 37 wickets at an economy rate of 4.35 and scored 1020 runs at an average of 36.42 with 8 fifties to her name. Back in 2020, Bryce became the Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade.

Bryce’s sister Sarah was also there in the auction, but went unsold. Katheryn also played for the Manchester Originals in the Women’s Hundred where she played alongside Laura Wolvaardt, who is also a part of the Giants.

Sophie Molineux

Sophie Molineux has been an effective cricketer for Australia, having taken 26 wickets from 27 matches at an economy rate of 5,94. Having also batted in the top order for the Melbourne Renegades in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), Molineux can also wield the willow to good effect.

In 99 WBBL matches, Molineux has picked up 78 wickets at an economy rate of 6.63 with 2 four-wicket hauls to her name. She has also scored 1506 runs at an average of 20.35 with 7 half-centuries to show for her efforts.

Nadine de Klerk 

Nadine de Klerk is set to make her debut in the WPL after the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) drafted her in as a replacement for Heather Knight, who pulled out of the tournament due to international commitments.

In 48 Women’s T20Is for South Africa, de Klerk has taken 37 wickets and scored 439 runs. It remains to be seen if she gets a chance to play as RCB have several big names, including Sophie Devine, Georgia Wareham, Ellyse Perry, and others.

Lea Tahuhu

New Zealand fast bowler Lea Tahuhu joined the Gujarat Giants after fast bowler Lauren Cheatle opted out of the tournament. Cheatle missed out after she recently underwent a skin cancer procedure.

Tahuhu has taken 78 wickets from 80 T20Is for New Zealand and has 13 years of playing international cricket since making her debut back in 2011. Tahuhu has also played for the Manchester Originals in the Women’s Hundred and Sydney Thunder in the WBBL.

Kate Cross   

Kate Cross does not have a lot of experience of playing T20Is for England, but she is an effective all-rounder in white-ball cricket. In 16 T20Is for England, Cross has picked up 11 wickets. But having taken 115 wickets across all 3 formats, Cross is aware of the needs to survive in top-level cricket.

Cross was also a part of the Velocity team, captained by Mithali Raj, in the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2022. After Megan Schutt’s departure, Cross’ presence gives RCB an option to partner Renuka Singh with the new ball.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India