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From Deol, Ishaque to Norris: Here are the Top 5 Emerging Players From WPL 2023 

image-lfb4611mWPL 2023( left to right): Tara Norris, Shreyanka Patil, Harleen Deol, Yastika Bhatia and Saika Ishaque (Images: Twitter)

Grit, grace and glory are perhaps just three words to a reader; however, for a player, they are three stages of life: The absolute grit and sheer belief that makes it possible for them to continue doing something tough; the grace and beauty with which they overcome challenges, hardships both on and off the field and finally reaping their hard-earned successes.

The launch of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) is a step in the right direction, it has given wings to the dreams of so many young girls running around, wearing jerseys and made it possible for them to believe in the power of hardwork and hope because every Mithali Raj was once an 8-year old.

This WPL has seen numerous players emerge and wow the audience with their outstanding and over-the-top performances. Here are five of the top players:

1) Harleen Deol

image-lfb0kjd8Harleen Deol (Twitter)

Harleen Deol, who plays for the Gujarat Giants this season, was selected after a string of outstanding performances while playing domestic cricket for the Himachal Pradesh squad. She is undoubtedly a player to watch out for both with the bat and while fielding. 

This Tuesday's Women's Premier League (WPL) match between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians saw her take charge once again, as she dived in thin air to make a sharp catch.

Moreover, during Gujarat Giants (GG) match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Deol scored a stunning 67 runs off 45, helping her team win against Mandhana & Co.

2) Saika Ishaque

image-lfb0qi0gSaika Ishaque (Twitter)

Mumbai Indians left-arm spinner, Saika Ishaque has had an absolutely amazing performance since the beginning of this season. Her bowling figures have been unmatched and exceptional. She is notably amongst the highest wicket-takers’ with 12 wickets from 5 matches in the inaugural Women’s Premier League.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, the 27-year-old described how she is entirely focused on honing her bowling abilities, which have propelled Mumbai Indians to the top of the table and how thankful she has been for the love and support she has received:

“To me, it felt like, the only way was to move forward. And that’s what motivated me. My family was one of my biggest supporters, giving me a lot of confidence that I can come back and play cricket.” 

"I have so many positive people around me, it makes me want to play well and not disappoint those who are around, and to do justice to the faith they have shown on me,” Ishaque added.

3) Tara Norris

image-lfb1nkfaTara Norris (Twitter)

Since Delhi Capitals (DC) was the only team to select an associate player in the WPL auction, Tara Norris as a USA player has without a doubt given them a special armament. Before making her USA debut in the 2021 ICC Americas Women's T20 Qualification, Norris won the inaugural Hundred final in England with the Oval Invincibles. 

Norris is Delhi's second-most productive bowler after five games, having taken seven wickets. After the most recent game, she is the only second pacer with more than five wickets.

Having been bought at the lowest base price of 10 lakhs at the Women's Premier League auction, Norris more than paid DC's debt in the very first match itself, by picking apart the RCB batting order with the first WPL five-wicket haul.

4) Shreyanka Patil

image-lfb2f4hlShreyanka Patil (Twitter)

Although, Royal Challengers Bangalore have not had a wonderful season, they do have an emerging star amongst them and that is, all-rounder Shreyanka Patil. 

The 20-year-old came in at number seven and connected with the first ball she faced against Mumbai with a boundary. Even though, the right-hander proved to be costly with the ball, she smashed two lovely boundaries off Ishaque in her cameo of 23 off 15 balls.

The off-break bowler is a genuine all-rounder who is well-focused and gutsy. Shreyanka took two wickets against Gujarat, including that of, Sophia Dunkley. Further, Patil also quickly scored 11 runs in four balls in the final over to reduce Bangalore's deficit to 11 runs.

5) Yastika Bhatia

image-lfb2yqpmYastika Bhatia (Twitter)

Mumbai Indians opener, Yastika Bhatia is another star that makes this list incomplete without her addition. She recently scored 44 runs off 37 pitches as MI set the GG a 163-run target. 

When the Mumbai Indians lost Hayley Matthews in the first over, Yastika and Nat Sciver-Brunt put up a 74-run second-wicket stand. The team's previous two contests against the Delhi Capitals and UP Warriorz saw the left-handed opener score 41 and 42 runs, respectively.