Indian Premier League on Radar for Women’s cricket
HAVING seen the growing success of the Women’s Big Bash League, the Board of Control for Cricket in India are considering an equivalent to the men’s IPL for women.
The first step in the process is the women’s exhibition match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The clash will be staged before the men’s first qualifying final and will play host to current Australian cricket captain Meg Lanning and several teammates in Megan Schutt, Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney.
Lanning has been chosen in the IPL Supernovas team, along with Schutt and Perry, while Healy and Mooney will represent the IPL Trailblazers.
“It’s such an exciting opportunity to play in the challenge match alongside some other excellent players. I am really glad they have put it together,” Lanning told Fairfax media on Saturday.
“We found out about it a week ago. It all happened pretty recently and has been put together quickly but I am sure it will be a great event.”
The contest will also feature three players from New Zealand, a pair from England and there will also be 16 Indian players, with stars Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana to captain the Supernovas and Trailblazers respectively.
“We are planning to get a women’s IPL in place in two to three years,” BCCI administrator Vinod Rai told the Indian press last week.
Lanning said there was enough global talent in the women’s game to field eight teams, as is the case in the men’s competition. There are eight teams in the WBBL.
“I guess the idea is to test the waters a little bit, have this one-off match, which will be great. Hopefully, down the track within a couple of years, it would be great if there could be an IPL up. I think that’s probably the next step in the women’s game, for that to be up and running. Hopefully, this is just a start,” she said.
“You have got the [Twenty20 competition] in the UK, the KSL [Kia Super League], and then the Big Bash during our summer but in the April, May period there is generally a bit of a gap in the women’s game. In an ideal world, if the IPL was to start up, it would be a good time to do it.”