Suzie Bates is excited about the idea of IPL-style tournament for women
After witnessing the combined commercial and cricketing success of the lucrative Indian Premier League, it is no wonder that other notable countries like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and West Indies have tried adopting the formula.
After men, now it’s time for women’s cricket to model a competition that will give them more recognition and fame which is essential for any sport to become successful. Women’s cricket, which is living in the shadows of the men’s game and not even taken seriously in many cricket-playing nations, will have an international Twenty-20 tournament based in Singapore soon, thanks to Lisa Sthalekar, former Australian all-rounder, who is keen to make this a reality.
Still at the beginning stages, the mere idea of playing in an international league is exciting according to the Suzie Bates – the New Zealand captain.
“I haven’t heard too many of the details, but about 18 months ago we received the first email letting us know there was this idea in the background for a women’s version of the IPL. As soon as I heard that I thought, how exciting,” Bates told ESPNcricinfo.
The ICC was very supportive for their Women’s International Cricket League (WICL) added the right-handed opener.
“I think they have got more and more momentum with support from the ICC and other boards around the world. If they could get the WICL off the ground I think, globally, would be awesome for the game and it would lift the standards overall. I just hope it does happen and if it’s this year, then even better. I hope people get behind it.”
Speaking about how the women’s game in New Zealand is coping with this the rest of the world,
“We are falling behind England and Australia, but it is hard because the resources are not the same. We try to do as well as we can,” Bates said. “Last year I was involved in contracts for the first time – they were called development contracts – where four players were signed up for 12 months to work part-time in cricket and also provide some financial stability.
“The downside of that was that we were given a contract but expected to work for the money in cricket, which is positive for the development of the game but them being advertised as professional contracts wasn’t quite the truth, and [it was] more about working in cricket to sustain your career,” told the 26-year-old, who feels women cricket needs more support.
“From my point of view I felt I was involved in coaching and a lot of cricket, which made you a bit stale by the end of the season. I’d like to look at other career options to sustain my cricket, which is why these leagues are exciting,” Bates concluded who was going to represent Rest of the world against MCC on account of MCC’s bicentenary celebrations at Lord’s.
Charlotte Edwards will lead the England players representing MCC against Bates who will play alongside India’s Mithali Raj, Australia’s Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, Deandra Dottin and Stafanie Taylor of West Indies.Published 19 May 2014, 12:33 IST