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Danni Wyatt ‘extra-buzzed’ to prove herself in maiden WPL stint with Warriorz

Last updated on 20 Feb 2024 | 05:28 AM
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Danni Wyatt ‘extra-buzzed’ to prove herself in maiden WPL stint with Warriorz

In a freewheeling chat with, Danni Wyatt spoke about her love for India, breaking records, what it feels like to be part of WPL finally and much more

Port Vale FC are placed 22nd on the table in League One.

They are at the foothill of the table, struggling to keep pace with the league. One person who knows all about not keeping pace with the others in the league is 32-year-old Danni Wyatt

At one point in her career, Wyatt was in a similar position, at an all-time low, when she wasn’t picked in the squad for the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. Until then, it had never happened that Wyatt was dropped from the squad, and it hasn’t happened ever since. 

But neither of the two stops Danni. She still wears her heart on her sleeve, supporting Port Vale, and on the field, she upped her game to ensure that England could never find a reason to drop her since the 2014 event. 

If anything, both Port Vale and the drop hold a special place in her heart; she has now earned a second life in the sport. 

“I wasn’t in a very good mental space back then, I was so burnt out that I didn’t even want to play cricket. It was a blessing that I got dropped,” Wyatt told 

“It gave me a chance to look at myself and where I need to improve. It gave me a chance to switch off and work on what I needed,” she added. 

Until a certain point in her career, the reputation surrounding the English opener was that of a pinch-hitter, nothing less and certainly nothing more. She never could prove her mettle until September 5, 2012, 16 innings into her career, when she scored a 41 against Pakistan in Loughborough.

And it took a further 32 more innings before people would actually take Wyatt and her batting seriously after she scored a 50 against Australia in the T20I opener at North Sydney Oval. But once she got there, Wyatt capitalised it to the fullest, with 2114 runs, averaging 27.45 for the national side ever since. 

“I was better than that before, at that time, deep down, it was frustrating, you know, 20s off 15 balls, I knew that I was better. I kept working hard on my game and thinking about how to improve. It just took that one game for everything to change. It also comes with experience, what works for you, and you have been in a good place in the last few years,” she added. 

Given cricket wasn’t her first-choice sport, Wyatt could have easily given up. But ever since she chose cricket over football early on in her life, she hasn’t switched loyalties. But what made her choose cricket in the first place, and how did that sport steal her heart away from football, her first love? 

“It came to a point where I had to choose, and I chose cricket because of the social side. I was probably better at football at that point. The social side of cricket was amazing; you get to hang around with your team and parents, which was cool,” she recalled.

Wyatt’s eyes lit up like a young kid when she heard the words ‘Port Vale’. It was almost alien that you could find a fan of that club here in India. It almost took her back to the young days when she would support The Valiant, despite, funnily enough, trialing with Stokes City (Port Vale’s rivals). 

“It was amazing to be part of this cricketing bunch. I still love football. If I could, I would still play football. I’m a big Port Vale fan; it is in the blood, I like Manchester United as well,” she added.

With the announcement of Darren Moore as the new manager, Port Vale will also climb up the table, and Wyatt will be the first to cheer them on. 


Despite scoring a truckload of runs (459) in India, only behind the likes of Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy for a visiting batter, a Women’s Premier League (WPL) contract seemed far off from her reach. Wyatt was constantly hoping for that one bid to go through, but no one seemed interested in acquiring her services. 

However, come the 2024 WPL Auction, UP Warriorz did not waste any time and instantly put their weight behind the English batter, allowing her to showcase her skills in a country she loves so much. 

“Pretty amazing (to be part of WPL), I was pretty heartbroken after not getting picked at last year’s WPL Auction. I had my hopes up because of my numbers here in India. I thought I would get one bid at least, so it was heartbreaking,” she expressed her feelings about missing out on the inaugural WPL. 

“I had a completely different mindset this time around. I had a good summer; if I get picked, I get picked. I was delighted with the bid, and I’m here excited for this opportunity,” she added. 

So, what’s it about playing in India? Is it the pitch and conditions, or is it the crowd who turn up day in and day out in thousands of numbers? Or is it a combination of multiple things? 

“I have pretty good stats here in India; the pitch will suit my game. My stats are good against spin, there will be a lot of spin in this tournament, for sure. If I get the opportunity to play for UP, I want to make that opportunity count and contribute to a winning cause,” she said before saying that the crowds here are a deal-breaker. 

“I do enjoy playing cricket in India. Whenever I come to India, I just get that buzz and atmosphere that no one else gives in the world. Everyone is passionate about the game; you turn up, and the crowds are full. It gives me that extra buzz, I guess,” she said. 


Danni Wyatt is 32, but a child-like infectious energy surrounds her. 

It is almost impossible for you to be in the same room and not have a smile on your face. There isn’t even an iota of celebrity-ness attached to her. She doesn’t ignore even the smallest person in the room, showering so much warmth in the area.

That recognition has only been possible due to the sport's growth, which has now entered the farthest end of the world with women’s cricket. It has even reached the shores of Brazil, who have become the latest kid in the women’s cricketing phenomenon.

It is something that makes her smile. It is something that vindicates her decision to become a cricketer in the first place. Having said that, however, it is imperative for Wyatt (in her own words) to maintain a life outside of the game. 

“For me, I’m pretty easygoing; I like to have a life away from cricket. I like to put perspective into things as long as my family are happy and healthy, nothing else matters. I’m being paid to play cricket, so I can’t believe that,” she said. 

Over the last year, Wyatt has had to put more things in perspective. It was a year that had plenty of highs, given she finally shed the limited-overs tag associated with her and finally donned that cap that ensured her Test debut, all at the age of 32. 

One person who played an integral role in her earning a Test cap was none other than Jonathan Lewis, who, not surprisingly, is also the reason behind Wyatt getting herself a maiden WPL stint. 

“I’m very thankful to Jon Lewis for picking and trusting me to play Tests. I did pretty well in the Ashes Test as well. It was a pretty special day for my family and me to get that cap. Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, we really played well, hoping for a couple more,” she added. 

During the tour to India, the Sussex batter had a golden opportunity to surpass Charlotte Edwards’ record of most runs for England in the game's shortest format, with just four runs required. But the constant thought of that eventually ended up screwing up her game plan, with a three-ball duck against India at the Wankhede Stadium. 

“I don’t think about the runs scored, I like to live in the moment. I would say that’s not bad when I look back at my career. I have played a lot of T20 cricket now; my career has been pretty weird. I was a bowler in my first half, and now I’m a batter,” she spoke of the record. 


Most runs for England in WT20Is

150 appearances in WT20Is

Test debut

WPL contract

In her 14-year-old career, Wyatt has individually achieved more things than most other cricketers around the globe. Despite these personal accolades, Wyatt insisted that she hadn’t achieved what she wanted in the sport. 

“I have not won a T20 World Cup yet, and I want to do that. We have a World Cup coming up in Bangladesh in October, so it is a great opportunity for us to get our hands on the trophy,” she finally revealed the answer. 

Something that has always surrounded Danni Wyatt in her personal and professional life is the constant endeavour to push herself for betterment. Like her rise on the cricketing charts, her constant endeavour doesn’t seem like stopping.

“I’m 32 years old and working on improving, looking at where I can improve my game. Once you relax as a cricketer and think you have made it, that’s when things can go downhill. I’m going to keep pushing myself towards improvement,” she concluded. 

In her second life, the stage is perfectly set for Danni to show the world that she was never just a ‘pinch-hitter’ in the first place.

What’s a better stage than the WPL, a tournament where she was infamously rejected the first time to finally shoot off into the cricketing pantheon of greatness?

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