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RCB set to appoint Luke Williams as head coach for WPL

He will replace Ben Sawyer, and has won titles in the Women's Hundred and WBBL in the last year

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Luke Williams (right) coached Adelaide Strikers to the WBBL title in 2022-23  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Luke Williams (right) coached Adelaide Strikers to the WBBL title in 2022-23  •  Cricket Australia via Getty Images

Royal Challengers Bangalore are set to appoint Australia's Luke Williams as their new head coach ahead of the second season of the Women's Premier League (WPL), thus replacing Ben Sawyer in the role.
Williams has a burgeoning reputation as a coach, following a short first-class career between 2000-2005. He spent four seasons in charge of Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL and coached them to their inaugural title in 2022-23 after two previous finishes as runners-up.
Williams was also Southern Brave's assistant coach when they won their first title in the Women's Hundred this year, and worked closely with Charlotte Edwards. He has also worked with South Australian Scorpions in the Women's National Cricket League (WNCL) in Australia.
RCB had struggled in the inaugural WPL season earlier this year, finishing fourth out of five teams and winning only two of their eight group-stage games. And like they did with the men's set-up, the owners have opted to overhaul the coaching staff ahead of the 2024 edition. Andy Flower, who had coached Lucknow Super Giants last season, has agreed for a three-year contract as head coach of the men's side, replacing Sanjay Bangar.
Mike Hesson left his post as director of cricket - across both men and women's teams - in August, and ESPNcricinfo understands that Sawyer, head coach of the women's team, will also not return next year.
RCB invested heavily in their captain Smriti Mandhana ahead of the inaugural WPL. Their bid of INR 3.4 crore (USD 415,000 approx. at the time) made her the season's most expensive buy. Mandhana, though, had a quiet season, scoring just 149 runs in eight innings. They had also picked a heavyweight squad comprising international stars such as Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry and Heather Knight.
They lost their first five games of the season, effectively ending their qualification hopes, before winning two of their last three matches to finish fourth, ahead of Gujarat Giants.
Additional reporting by Shashank Kishore

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98