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RCB rope in Ben Sawyer as head coach for WPL

Sawyer, who is also the head coach of the New Zealand’s women’s team, will reunite with Sophie Devine in the inaugural WPL season

Royal Challengers Bangalore have named Ben Sawyer as their head coach for the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League, starting March 4. The New Zealander is currently also the coach of the national women’s team and will reunite with White Ferns captain Sophie Devine, was was bought by RCB among their three signings from the marquee player set at Monday’s player auction.

The ex-assistant coach of the Australian women’s team, Sawer, led Sydney Sixers to back to back WBBL titles in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

While Mike Hesson will continue in the role of the RCB Director of Cricket, Malolan Rangarajan, who was the head of scouting, has been appointed assistant coach. Former India opener Vanitha VR, who was also a part of the scouting side, has been named the team’s fielding coach while RX Murali has been roped in as the batting coach of the side for the 2023 season.
“He (Ben Sawyer) has been part of Women’s cricket over 20 years now, knows the cricketers thoroughly, understands the game and has been involved in our preparations right from the beginning,” Hesson was quoted as saying in the club statement. “I am really delighted to have him and he is as excited to join us. We also have Malo who has been part of our men’s system and scouting team and he will bring a lot of value as Vanitha and RX Murali who have extensive experience of working in Karnataka with the women players and are highly sought after. We have a great team of talented support staff too along with the coaching team who we want to grow and develop too,” he added.
RCB earlier today also announced tennis ace and just-retired Sania Mirza as the team’s mentor.
In all likelihood, Indian vice-captain Smriti Mandhana will lead the RCB side in WPL after the club shelled out a whopping INR 3.4 crore on the southpaw, making her the most expensive buy at the auction. RCB will open their campaign against Delhi capitals on March 5.
The inaugural season of the WPL will be played in Mumbai – across two venues – in a double round-robin format between March 2 and 21. The top-placed team at the end of the league games will get a direct ticket to the final, on March 26, while the second and third-placed sides will fight it out in an eliminator, on March 24, for the final berth.
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