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Meet Kathryn Bryce, the only associate player in WPL 2024

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Last updated on 25 Feb 2024 | 07:15 PM
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Meet Kathryn Bryce, the only associate player in WPL 2024

The Scottish all-rounder scored a crucial 25 off 24 and picked up 1 for 22 in three overs and not only justified her selection, but also made the fans appreciate it

March 05, 2023 

It’s the second game of the newly minted Women’s Premier League (WPL). The ball is in the hands of an American left-arm pacer. Yup. The United States of America. Tara Norris is running hard. It is a length ball outside off, and the English skipper Heather Knight slaps it straight to the extra cover fielder. 


The WPL, along with changing the tide of women’s cricket in India, also introduced a great new rule with a vision to help grow the women’s game. Having an associate nation player in the eleven now allowed teams to play five overseas players in the eleven (including the associate player, of course), thus encouraging them to pick players from these nations.

Sadly, the Delhi Capitals were the only side to pick an associate player in WPL 2023, but Tara Norris’s performance made the impact straightaway. The Capitals didn’t look back after that in the tournament and easily made it to the final. The new rule had made its impact.

But alas, considering the limited number of overseas spots, the Gujarat Giants are the only team with an associate player this year. And guess what? She’s the ICC Associate Player of the Decade for 2011-2020! And do you know an even crazier fact? She received this award after making her debut as late as 2018. 

Still, the chances are high that you might not have known her name before today. 

Kathryn Bryce made her WPL debut today against the Mumbai Indians, becoming only the second associate player to have played in the tournament. She scored 25 off 24 in an innings where wickets kept falling like dried leaves in autumn and ensured that her side reached 126 somehow. 

Later, while bowling, the swing bowler got the ball to move late in the air away from Yastika Bhatia and got her caught by Veda Krishnamurthy. She gave only 22 runs in her three overs today, and while this all-round performance from her doesn’t match the craze of Norris’s fifer, her impact on the game was big enough to not just justify her selection but appreciate it as well. 

Fascinatingly enough, it was an act of fate that resulted in her eventually ending up playing the WPL.

“The analyst for the Giants was actually the men's analyst for Manchester Originals. So I kind of met him then and spoke to him a little bit about it. But obviously, a lot of the conversations around the last couple of weeks [before the auction] were still like, it depends on how the rest of the auction kind of plays out,” she’d told in a media interaction after the WPL auction, revealing how she ended up getting picked by Gujarat Giants.

For Bryce, though, this isn’t the first time in India. She was also part of a training camp organized by RCB last year, a month before the WPL 2024 auction. As it turned out, however, it was not RCB, but the Giants who ended up snapping up her services.

“Playing in India is something pretty special. And I've not had the opportunity to do that before. I had just a three or four-day camp. And that's the first time I've ever really been in India. But obviously, as a country that loves cricket so much, it is obviously very different from Canada and the exposure you get in Scotland as well. So kind of having that opportunity is pretty exciting,” she had said. 

A local player for the Manchester Originals franchise in The Hundred, Bryce is someone keen to embrace the limelight on her in the WPL, being an overseas player.

“Being able to play with all these different players from around the world and having that experience of playing as an overseas player is obviously a bit different to the experience of playing in the Hundred. You're the local player [in the Hundred]. So I think that'd be something a bit different as well, having to go into that environment and figure it all out pretty quickly. But yeah, to just have another opportunity like that and to be able to play on one of the biggest stages with the likes of those players is really exciting."

Just like Norris, Bryce is also an adept swing bowler capable of deceiving batters with her movement in the air. However, her experience of playing cricket in different parts of the world elevates her standing as a cricketer. 

She has been playing for Scotland worldwide, and secondly, playing in various other T20 leagues and clubs, like being a rookie in the Women’s Big Bash League, playing the Hundred, or the impressive Fairbreak tournament in Hong Kong, where she played with cricketers from all around the globe. 

That certainly has added a lot of skills to her arsenal and has allowed her to improve her batting as well. And this has paid rich dividends for her national side in T20Is as she's scored 1020 runs in 38 innings for Scotland at a very healthy average of 36.42 and a good strike rate of 102.82. 

Today, she batted for the first time in a game of this level in India and remained not out. She scored 25 runs while wickets kept falling around her. She smacked Hayley Matthews for a big six over mid-wicket. There couldn’t have been a better way for Bryce to walk the talk than this. 

She is the sole representative of the associate nations in the richest league of women’s cricket, and it is crucial that she not only belongs but performs at this level, too. Her greatest achievement this season would be to impress the franchises into investing in other well-performing associate players. As far as its inception is concerned for the Edinburgh-born allrounder, what’s well-begun is already half done.

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