Beth Mooney named captain of WPL side Gujarat Giants

Australia batter Beth Mooney has been named captain of Gujarat Giants for the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL). Mooney, who scored a match-winning 74 not out in Australia’s sixth Women’s T20 World Cup triumph, will reunite with former team-mate Rachael Haynes, Giants’ head coach. India allrounder Sneh Rana has been named the vice-captain.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to lead the Adani Gujarat Giants in the historic Women’s Premier League’s inaugural edition in 2023,” Mooney said in a statement. “The squad is keen to get the ball rolling soon and put out an entertaining and effective brand of cricket in the debut season of the WPL. It will be fantastic to have the likes of Sneh as my deputy and Mithali Raj, Rachael Haynes and Nooshin Al Khadeer as pivotal parts of the team.”

Mooney was part of Australia’s T20 World Cup winning teams in 2018 and 2020 – she was the Player of the Tournament three years ago – before also lifting the trophy in 2023, apart from winning the ODI World Cup in 2022 and the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games last year. She has also won the Women’s Big Bash League thrice and is the only Australia batter with two T20I hundreds.

This will be Mooney’s first full-time experience at leading a side in an overseas T20 league. In the women’s Hundred last year, she was the highest run-scorer for London Spirit. She has only led in a few games at the Women’s Big Bash League, having played for Brisbane Heat, which has been largely led by Kirby Short, and Perth Scorchers, captained by Sophie Devine.

Meanwhile, Rana had made a comeback to the Indian side in 2021 and played the semi-final of the T20 World Cup this year, where India narrowly lost to Australia. She represented Velocity in the Women’s T20 Challenge, and has played 25 T20Is, 22 ODIs and a Test for India.

Giants had selected Mooney for INR 2 crore (USD 244,000 approx) and Rana for INR 75 lakh (USD 91,000 approx). Giants will kickoff the WPL against Mumbai Indians on Saturday at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.