Indian National Women’s Cricket Team had a successful campaign in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup tournament held in Australia, where they finished runners-up losing to the host, the Australian National Women’s Cricket Team who won their 5th T20 World Cup trophy. Mithali Raj, captain of the India Women’s ODI team recently urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to come up with a plan to organise a Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) in the country from 2021.
The BCCI has previously hosted Women’s IPL exhibition matches in the last 2 years but is yet to organise a full-scale women’s T20 league tournament similar to the ones being held in England (Kia Super League) and Australia (Women’s Big Bash League) which has successfully been running for the past 4 and 5 years respectively.
Mithali Raj requested the BCCI to not “wait forever” to arrange the women’s IPL. She also said that, to begin with, the tournament can start off on a “smaller scale” and make certain changes as to that of the men’s IPL.
“I personally feel they should start a women’s IPL by next year, even if it’s on a slightly smaller scale and with some changes in rules, such as, say, have five to six foreign players in the first edition instead of four as is the case with the men’s IPL,” Mithali Raj said to the media.
“I agree we don’t have the depth in the domestic pool yet, but the key is to get the existing franchises to form teams, even if [only] five or six of them are keen to begin the process because in any case, the BCCI was going to have four teams [in the Women’s T20 Challenge]. You cannot wait forever; you have to begin at some point, and gradually, year by year, you can keep evolving the league and then bring it down to four foreign players.” Mithali added.
Even though India does not have the magnitude of domestic players compared to that of countries like England and Australia, the BCCI should still consider organizing such tournament once a year to encourage the women youth to join and grow the sport.
Mithali Raj also emphasized on considering Shafali Verma, the teenage prodigy batswoman, for the ODI team because of her brilliance in the Women’s T20 World Cup.
“It’s not a bad idea to consider her for the ODIs. She is young but that should not be a criterion for not giving her opportunities in the ODI side,” Mithali further added.