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United by friendship, divided by teams: Interesting duels in WPL

With WPL starting tomorrow, we take a look at off-field friends and partners who will turn on-field rivals during the WPL.

United by friendship, divided by teams: Interesting duels in WPL

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 3 March 2023 8:26 AM GMT

With franchise cricket becoming a reality for Indian women, this format will see a lot of international teammates going up against each other.

We take a look at a few off-field best friends and partners who will be turning on-field rivals during the course of the Women's Premier League.

Marizanne Kapp - Dane van Niekerk

Very well-known names for cricket fans and two of the finest cricketers to come out of South Africa, all-rounder Dane van Niekerk and pacer Marizanne Kapp tied the knot in 2018.

Both players are quite vocal about their relationship and faced criticism for making it public. Despite all the chatter around, the couple is going strong. Kapp starred in South Africa's recent run to the final of the Women's T20 World Cup.

The couple will turn up for different teams in the Women's Premier League. They are the only couple to feature in WPL.

Marizanne Kapp was picked by Delhi Capitals for 1.5 crores INR and Dane went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for 30 Lakh INR.

Smriti Mandhana - Jemimah Rodrigues

Two premier Indian batters, Smriti Mandhana, and Jemimah Rodrigues are known for their off-field friendship and both the players are seen playing pranks and making fun of each other most of the time.

In WPL auctions, Smriti Mandhana became the most expensive player after being picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore at 3.4 crores INR while Jemimah was the most expensive buy of Delhi Capitals at 2.2 crores INR.

During a media interaction, Jemimah said, "We were honestly hoping to be in different teams because we wanted to face each other. I will ignore her if when I see her on the ground."

Jhulan Goswami - Mithali Raj

With current cricketers getting divided into different teams is a definite during franchise leagues but WPL will also witness two former India internationals and closest buddies going against each other in the coaching roles.

Former Indian pacer Jhulan Goswami and former Indian skipper Mithali Raj will be part of different teams in a coaching capacity.

While Mithali Raj took up the role of mentor for Gujarat Giants, Jhulan Goswami is assisting Charlotte Edwards at Mumbai Indians. It will be amazing to witness two pillars of Indian women's cricket going against each other although in a different roles.

Harleen Deol - Sophie Ecclestone

A little unusual pair but Indian all-rounder Harleen Deol and English spinner Sophie Ecclestone share great camaraderie off the field.

Both the players have played with each other for Supernovas and won the Women's T20 Challenge 2022. Apart from this, their social media banter is always with both the players regularly interacting with each other.

Sophie Ecclestone was picked by UP Warriorz for a price of 1.8 crores INR while Gujarat Giants bought Harleen Deol for 40 lakhs INR.

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