Royal Challengers Bangalore today announced its coaching staff ahead of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL 2023), which will be held between March 4 to March 26 in Mumbai.
Ben Sawyer has been appointed as the Head Coach of the RCB Women’s Team ahead of the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League. He wil be assisted by Malolan Rangarajan, who also doubles up as the Head of Scouting. The coaching staff further includes Vanitha VR who also assumes a dual role as the Fielding Coach and a Scout. RX Murali will take over the role of Batting coach.
Ben Sawyer who is currently the Head Coach of the New Zealand Women’s team is a highly-regarded coach on the T20 Circuit having been a part of the Australian Women’s T20 World Cup winning team and the Sydney Sixers in the WBBL, having won both titles twice.
RCB’s Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson spoke about Sawyer’s appointment, saying “He has been involved in Women’s cricket for over 20 years, knows the women’s game inside out, knows the players very well. He has been thoroughly involved in our preparations leading up to the auction as well. Really delighted to get Ben, sort of spoke to him prior to knowing we were going to get a team and just sussing out potentially whether he would be interested, and he was really excited too. He has been involved in setting up Sydney Sixers from the start of the Big Bash (WBBL), setting the franchise up, and he did the same with The Hundred. So hugely experienced.”
Malolan Rangarajan who is also involved with the Men’s team will assume the role of Assistant Coach to Ben Sawyer.
Taking about Malolan, Hesson added, “Real high-quality coach who we are trying to continue to give further opportunities to.”
Talking about Vanitha VR who will be the Fielding coach while also being involved in scouting for players, Hesson said, “She’s from Karnataka, she’s been running our women’s scouting program. She will come on as Fielding Coach, and also offer some batting skills as well.”
Hesson also shed some light on RX Murali’s appointment as the batting coach.
Speaking about the veteran coach in the Karnataka domestic circuit who has coached players who have gone on to represent India, Hesson revealed, “RX Murali, who is also Karnataka based, well sought-after as a power-hitting coach from a batting perspective, and also a technically batting coach who has worked with a lot of women, works with a lot of the current Indian men’s players as well. So, highly sought-after.”
Apart from the four members of the coaching staff, the support staff will consist of Dr Harini who will be the Team Manager and the Team Doctor. Navnita Gautam will assume the role of Head Athletic Therapist. Huzefa Talib will be the Strength and Conditioning Coach, while Sabyasachi Sahoo has been appointed as the Head Physio. Soumyadeep Pyne has been named the Head of Operations.
“The key part is getting that inclusivity, a real diversity in the support staff. So, we’ve worked really hard to get quality women involved, women that can actually add huge amount of value to the depth to our squad. We’ve also got some in our support staff who we want to grow and develop, who are talented but haven’t had that opportunity. We see this opportunity to grow not only the players but also a female support staff perspective as well,” Hesson concluded.
Earlier in the day, Sania Mirza was also announced as the Team Mentor for the RCB Women’s team for the upcoming season.
Director of Cricket Operations: Mike Hesson
Head Coach: Ben Sawyer
Assistant Coach and Head of Scouting: Malolan Rangarajan
Scout and Fielding Coach: Vanitha VR
Batting Coach: RX Murali
Team Manager and Team Doctor: Dr Harini
Head Athletic Therapist: Navnita Gautam
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Huzefa Talib
Head Physio: Sabyasachi Sahoo
Head of Operations: Soumyadeep Pyne
Asst Physio: Mridu Gautam
Asst Massage Therapist: Radhika Bhikan Chaudhari
WPL 2023 is set to be played in Mumbai from March 4, 2023 to March 26, 2023. A total of 22 matches will be played with the Brabourne Stadium & DY Patil Stadium playing hosts to the marquee tournament.