Women's Premier League: All you need know as Mumbai Indians defend title and Issy Wong looks to rediscover form

Women's Premier League: All you need know as Mumbai Indians defend title and Issy Wong looks to rediscover form

All you need to know ahead of the 2024 Women's Premier League, which is live in full on Sky Sports across February and March.

The women's equivalent of the beast that is the Indian Premier League. The WPL is about to enter its second season with the inaugural edition having taken place across March of 2023.

While the IPL is now up to 10 teams, the WPL is currently operating with five - Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, UP Warriorz, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Giants.

Mumbai will aim to defend their title over the coming weeks, with the 2023 winners to kick off the competition on Friday in a repeat of last year's final against Capitals.

Indians triumphed by seven wickets in the title game a year ago - England's Nat Sciver-Brunt scoring an unbeaten 70 as her side reached their target of 132 with three balls to spare.

The 2024 final takes place on Sunday, March 17 as the 22-match season comes to a conclusion at Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.

On Sky Sports, with every match to be broadcast live. There is a game every day between February 23 and March 13 - starting at 2pm UK and Ireland time - as the sides play each other twice in a double round-robin format.

The teams that finish second and third in the table will then contest the eliminator on March 15 with the winners of that facing the table-toppers in the final on March 17. The eliminator and the final will also begin at 2pm in the UK and Ireland.

There will be six England internationals in the 2024 WPL, plus Scotland's Kathryn Bryce.

Sciver-Brunt and fast bowler Issy Wong - who took a hat-trick in last year's competition - have been retained by Mumbai, with spinner Sophie Ecclestone and all-rounder Alice Capsey kept on by UP Warriorz and Delhi respectively.

Opener Danni Wyatt (Warriorz) and seamer Kate Cross (Royal Challengers Bangalore) were subsequently picked up for around £30,000 each in December's auction.

England captain Heather Knight (RCB) and fast bowler Lauren Bell (Warriorz) had also been retained from the inaugural season but have since opted out of the tournament in order to prepare for March and April's white-ball tour of New Zealand.

Sciver-Brunt was the second-highest run-scorer in the first WPL, behind only former Australia captain Meg Lanning, as she scored 332 across 10 innings, while Ecclestone was the joint leading wicket-taker with 16 scalps, one more than Wong.

There will also be an English presence on the coaching teams with England coach Jon Lewis leading Warriorz, former England captain Charlotte Edwards helming Indians and ex-Surrey wicketkeeper-batter Jonathan Batty in charge of Capitals.

Bengaluru's M Chinnaswamy Stadium and Delhi's Arun Jaitley Stadium will stage games this term. The first 11 games will be held in Bengaluru before the action moves to Delhi for the remainder of the tournament, including the knockout stage.

Hopefully so, with the young fast bowler enduring a difficult time since her excellent WPL a year ago.

Run-up issues led to her being dropped from Birmingham Phoenix's team in The Hundred and she then struggled for England on her sole international appearance of the summer, with figures of 0-24 from two overs in a T20 against Sri Lanka.

Wong's first over included a wide and three front-foot no-balls before she conceded three fours in her second.

That may be her last England appearance for the foreseeable as she has not been included in the squads for the impending New Zealand tour but says work with England's bowling coach Matthew Mason has got her back on track.

"We called it 'repair work' at the time. I feel that's all behind me now and the next step is match practice," Wong recently told ESPNcricinfo. "[I] probably thought too much about what I was doing, and I ended up doing kind of the wrong things.

"I think I'm probably at my best when I'm given a situation to get our team out of and all my energy is going into how I'm going to win the game. You just got to win the game in front of you.

"I'm absolutely fit and ready to kick it on and to try and contribute as much as possible. I want to win games for MI [Mumbai] at the moment and maybe England will happen in the future."

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Watch all 22 matches from the 2024 WPL live on Sky Sports, starting with the opener between Mumbai and Delhi from 1.50pm on Friday on Sky Sports Action (2pm first ball).

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