Former Australia women's cricketer Lisa Sthalekar believes that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been slow in planning the inaugural edition of the women's IPL.
The Women's T20 Challenge, which was supposed to be a four-team affair in 2020, was kept unchanged to three teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although it took place in parallel with the latter stages of the men's IPL 2020 season, it was played on slow pitches in the UAE. Further, the Indian players did not have much practice as they last played competitive cricket in the final of the Women's T20 World Cup on March 8.
Sthalekar noted that one of the reasons Australian women's cricket was doing well was because Cricket Australia took it seriously by launching the Women's Big Bash League. She hoped that the BCCI would do the same as well and invest in women's cricket sooner rather than later.
Lisa Sthalekar believes that India has a lot of talent in women's cricket and the women's IPL would provide the perfect platform for them to showcase that.
"I think they (BCCI) are moving in the right direction but slow in planning a women's IPL and provide enough match practice. The reason why Australian women's cricket is going well is because we have invested in it. Australia are the leaders in creating WBBL, which is in its sixth year," Lisa Sthalekar was quoted as saying by ABC.
"I hear the argument in India that we just don't have the depth, but we didn't think we had the depth either. You have to take a bit of a gamble, but when is the right time to do anything? Probably yesterday," she further added.
Indian contracted players not knowing when they are playing next is a massive concern: Lisa Sthalekar
While the Indian men's cricket team will begin playing international cricket in Australia following the COVID-19 break, the Indian women's team still does not know when they will be playing their next international fixture.
Lisa Sthalekar felt that this was something to worry about. This is because she believes that if things are not planned properly, Indian women's cricket is at risk of falling behind.
Sthalekar was of the opinion that the BCCI should concentrate more on nurturing women's cricket in India as she thinks India is capable of dominating women's cricket.
"I know the pandemic and what the situation is in India. But the fact that Indian contracted players don't know when they are playing next is a massive concern. They are going to fall behind. I feel they are the biggest untapped talent market. If they get it right, then Indian women's cricket will dominate," Lisa Sthalekar asserted.
It will be interesting to see what steps the BCCI takes to try and figure out a way to get the Indian women's team back in action as soon as possible.Published 22 Nov 2020, 20:14 IST