BCCI planning India A tours for women's team
By Bharat Sharma
New Delhi, Aug 28 (PTI) In an attempt to create a bigger feeder line for the women's cricket team, the BCCI is planning to introduce more India A tours in near future.
Besides the 'A' tour, there are plans to expand the U-16 domestic zonal tournament to the all-India level. As of now, all-India junior tournaments cover only the U-19 and U-23 category.
The Committee Of Administrators (COA) member Diana Edulji is part of the women's committee, which will be meeting on Wednesday to decide the road ahead for women's cricket in the country.
The other members are current ODI captain Mithali Raj, senior pacer Jhulan Goswami with the BCCI GM-Game Development, Ratnakar Shetty, being the convener.
"We plan to have India A tours for the women's team besides reviewing the domestic structure. It is needed for creating a bigger bench strength for the women's team. Mithali has herself felt that there is a lot of difference between our domestic cricket and international cricket," the BCCI official told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Another issue which is likely to be discussed in the meeting is the lack of international assignments for the national team, which became overnight stars with their showing in the World Cup last month.
"The team is not scheduled to play any international match this year. So we have already written to all the full members for bilateral limited overs series or even a tri- series. As of now, we have got positive response from England and Australia.
"The next assignment for India will probably be the ICC ODI Championship next year and there we are keen that team plays a tri-series along with the bilateral series. Having more domestic events and A tours will also go a long way in creating big enough pool for the Women's IPL," the official said.
Former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy said India A tours for women were due for a long time.
"I remember our A team travelling to Pakistan 15 years back but no tour has been organised since then. Therefore, it will be ideal if it becomes a regular feature. It will give our upcoming girls much needed exposure," she said.
Contrary to popular belief that India is not yet ready for a Women's IPL, Rangaswamy said the league could only help the game in the country.
"Everyone had their apprehensions when the men's IPL started in 2008. Look where the league has reached in 10 years time. The Women's IPL could have a similar script. If there can be a Big Bash in Australia, why not an IPL in India," she asked