India and Mumbai Indians captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Saturday declined to comment on the issue of short boundary in the Women's Premier League (WPL), saying that administrators and not players should be deciding on such limits. (More Cricket News)
The inaugural WPL began earlier this month on the directive from the BCCI that the boundary limits should be brought in, five metres lesser than last month's T20 World Cup to a maximum of 60 metres.
The decision was to facilitate more high-scoring games and entertainment for crowds in the stadiums and watching elsewhere in terms of more boundaries and sixes.
However, both the venues of WPL 2023 -- the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai and the Brabourne Stadium -- witnessed boundaries being brought in as close as 42-44 metres, with plenty of batters making most of the opportunity and scores in excess of 200 being notched up with ease at the start.
While the high scores did dry up as the pitches tired out gradually, becoming slow and assisting spin bowlers, batters still enjoyed success on shorter boundary limits.
At one stage, New Zealand and Royal Challengers Bangalore all-rounder Sophie Devine even made a plea for pushing back the boundary limits.
Ahead of the final on Sunday in Mumbai at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai Indians captain Kaur shot back when the topic came up, although in jest, saying that players are not the ones to decide if boundary limits should be increased from next season onwards.
"Ham logo ne thodi na rope lagaya hai. Jinhone rope lagaya hai aap unko poocho na. (We did not put the boundary ropes in place. You can ask whoever has done that)," Kaur replied laughing during her joint media conference with Delhi Capitals' Meg Lanning ahead of the WPL final on Sunday.
"It is not in our hands no?", she continued. "It is in the hands of the officials. You can talk to them," Kaur added.
Both the captains who have led their respective teams into the final of the five-team tournament after 20 league games hoped that the WPL is the start of something special in Indian cricket.
Lanning said Australia's WBBL has played a big role in the success of the national side and hoped the same for WPL.
"WBBL has played a massive role in the development of cricket in Australia and around the world as well. It provides great opportunities to players and exposes everybody to pressure situations in big games, the need to perform when it really matters," Lanning said.
"It has played a big role in the success we have had as an Australian team and being part of the WPL here I think it is exactly the same thing.
"It has been so good to know some of the local Indian players and work alongside them to develop cricket in India and around the world," Lanning added.
India captain Kaur shared the same view, adding that the country should be able to witness change in the next few years.
"WBBL played a big role in development of cricket in their country and WPL is also going to have a same role for our cricket. The domestic players are going to get a lot of opportunities, many girls have done well as we have seen.
"We will start seeing the results in 2-3 years. I am confident that Indian talent is also going to do well like Australia are doing," she said.
While playing in a big final will be uncharted waters for many uncapped and young Indian players from both the teams, Kaur will once again be leading a side against Lanning in a summit clash -- a stage in which she has not had much success.
But Kaur is confident of a strong show from Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
"This is a different scenario, our team is doing well and so is Meg Lanning's team. Whatever happened is in the past and we cannot change that. We want to do well in the future," she said.