The UP Warriorz, one of the teams in the Women’s Premier League (WPL), have unveiled their new look kit for the upcoming season of the tournament. The jersey is a tribute to the state’s emblematic palash flower and the trailblazing women who have shaped its history.
Fiery yet feminine: The story behind the jersey
The new jersey of the UP Warriorz is more than just a sportswear. It is a narrative of the state’s rich heritage woven into the very threads of the fabric. The jersey is designed with vibrant hues and elements that showcase the tenacity and robust spirit of the palash, the state flower of Uttar Pradesh. The palash, also known as the flame of the forest, is a symbol of the ability to thrive amidst adversity.
The jersey also celebrates the pioneering spirit of the women of Uttar Pradesh, who have left a mark in various fields and domains. It draws from the well of inspiration left by female icons and groups such as Rani Laxmi Bai, the warrior queen who fought against the British; Sucheta Kriplani, the first woman chief minister of any Indian state; Arundhati Bhattacharya, the first woman chairperson of the State Bank of India; and the formidable Gulabi Gang, a group of women activists who fight for women’s rights and empowerment. These women’s stories of bravery, leadership, and resilience are the qualities mirrored in the UP Warriorz athletes.
“In the competitive cricket arena, UP Warriorz stands for both strength and compassion, striking a balance these icons have exemplified,” said Jinisha Sharma, the director of Capri Sports, the owner of the team. “Our athletes, much like these remarkable women, are fierce competitors united by passion. This jersey symbolizes the power with heart, a testament to the true spirit of UP’s trailblazing women.”
A star-studded team led by Alyssa Healy
The UP Warriorz have a star-studded team that comprises none other than the legendary duo of Deepti Sharma and Alyssa Healy. Deepti Sharma is an all-rounder who plays for the Indian national team and has been one of the most consistent performers in the international circuit. She holds the record for the highest individual score by an Indian woman in ODIs, with 188 runs against Ireland in 2017. She also holds the record for the highest partnership in women’s ODIs, with 320 runs along with Punam Raut against South Africa in 2017.
Alyssa Healy is the captain of the UP Warriorz and one of the best wicket-keeper batswomen in the world. She plays for the Australian national team and has won several accolades and awards for her stellar performances. She was named the ICC T20I Player of the Year in 2018 and 2019, and the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade in 2020. She also holds the record for the highest individual score by a woman in T20Is, with 148 not out against Sri Lanka in 2019.
The two players posed with the new jersey and expressed their excitement for the upcoming season of the WPL. “I am very proud to be a part of the UP Warriorz and to wear this jersey that represents the state’s culture and history. I hope to inspire the young girls of UP to pursue their dreams and passions,” said Deepti Sharma. “I am thrilled to lead the UP Warriorz and to play alongside some of the best talents in the country. I love the design and the meaning behind the jersey. It reflects the fiery yet feminine spirit of the team and the state,” said Alyssa Healy.
Aiming for a better finish in the WPL 2024
The UP Warriorz had a decent performance in the inaugural season of the WPL in 2023, as they finished third in the tournament. They won four out of their six matches in the league stage, but lost to the eventual champions Mumbai Superstars in the semi-final. They will be aiming for a better finish in the second season of the WPL, which is expected to kick off on February 23, 2024, and go on for close to four weeks. The matches will be played in two venues, Bangalore and Delhi.
The WPL is a professional women’s cricket league in India, featuring six teams representing six different states. The league was launched in 2023 with the aim of promoting and developing women’s cricket in the country, and providing a platform for the emerging and established players to showcase their skills and talents. The league has attracted some of the best players from India and abroad, and has received positive response from the fans and the media.
The UP Warriorz’s new jersey is a symbol of cultural pride and the unyielding spirit of the people of Uttar Pradesh, ready to be worn by athletes who share the same fiery resilience as the icons it honours. The jersey is a statement of power with heart, a quality that the team will hope to display on the field as they compete for the coveted WPL trophy.