Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 25 (ANI): Taking forward its commitment to support sports for women and expanding the MI OneFamily, five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians announced the addition of a very special franchise- women's cricket team in the first-ever Women's Premier League (WPL) slated for March 2023.
This makes MI's women's team the fourth MI franchise after Mumbai Indians, MI Cape Town, and MI Emirates, which are playing the inaugural editions of South African T20 League SA20 and Emirates Cricket Board's (ECB) International League T20 (ILT20).
Mumbai Indians won the bid for the Mumbai city franchise. The 'Paltan' will now have their own women's team, to cheer and celebrate the same way that they have supported Mumbai Indians for the last 15 years making it the most successful franchise in Indian sport. The newly introduced WPL is set to be a game changer for not only women's cricket in India and across the globe but also women sportspersons in general.
Speaking on the occasion, Nita M Ambani said, "With great joy and pride, I welcome our women's cricket team to the MI OneFamily! This is a historic moment for Indian cricket, and we are delighted to be a part of it. India's women cricketers have always made the nation proud in the global sporting arena - be it the World Cup, Asian Cup or the recent Commonwealth Games! This new Women's League will once again shine a global spotlight on the talent, power, and potential of our girls. I am sure our Women's MI team will take the Mumbai Indians brand of fearless and entertaining cricket to a new level altogether. My heartiest congratulations to BCCI on this landmark announcement! It will pave the way for more and more young women to take up the professional sport. At Reliance, we remain committed to the glorious rise of women not just in cricket, but sport in general."Akash M. Ambani also said - "I am happy to extend a warm welcome to our women's cricket team, the fourth franchise to join the Mumbai Indians family. The launch of the Women's Premier League is a historic moment and I am proud that India is at the forefront of this change. I eagerly look forward to the upcoming season and am confident that the WPL will have a lasting impact on the empowerment of women in sports. As we bring the MI experience and best practices into the women's game, we look forward to seeing our women's team excel and inspire future generations of female athletes."Reliance Foundation Sports has been focusing on women in sports with greater emphasis on the development of grassroots opportunities, providing elite talent pathways for women and girl athletes across athletics, football, and cricket over the years. This includes scholarships for women athletes in Olympic sports programs providing them with world-class exposure, coaching, training, and sports and science support.
The Foundation has also been working at the grassroots encouraging children to take up sports and offering equal opportunities to the budding girl and boy cricketers and footballers. The ongoing MI Junior, inter-school cricket tournament for girls and boys, has seen participation from over 200 schools in Maharashtra. Further, the recently concluded school and college football league by Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) was held across 12 states and had 26,000 young footballers, in boys' and girls' categories. (ANI)