Not the right time for the inception of a Women's IPL, feels BCCI

Following India's World Cup final to England, skipper Mithali Raj had said that a Women's IPL should be established
Following India's World Cup final defeat to England, skipper Mithali Raj had said that a Women's IPL should be established
Neelabhra Roy

What's the story?

The BCCI is of the opinion that developing a Women’s IPL similar to the Women’s BBL is not a very viable idea presently. Following India’s defeat to England in the Women’s World Cup final, skipper Mithali Raj proposed that a Women’s IPL be established, but the country’s cricketing board has a different take on the matter.

While speaking to CricketNext, a senior BCCI official said that while the BCCI is more than willing to provide female cricketers with all the infrastructure and facilities needed for the growth of the sport at all levels, creating a Women’s IPL with the current financial demand and the ongoing unrest within the board is not a very good idea.

“There is no denying the fact that the women cricketers have made us proud. They deserve all the accolades and definitely this is the time to promote the game in the country and help create a solid foundation for the women’s game to go from strength to strength. But to think of a women’s IPL would be a little far-fetched as it is not financially feasible at present. Also, the current unrest within the BCCI as the board is trying its best to implement the proposals of the Lodha panel at the earliest means that the women’s IPL needs to wait at present.”

Also read: 5 reasons why the BCCI needs to start a Women’s version of IPL soon

Another official stated that broadcasting the tournament would also be difficult. “Women’s cricket has got good coverage this time around. But there needs to be more international and domestic games that need to be telecast before going for something revolutionary like having a T20 league. One needs to realize that the CLT20 couldn’t be sustained after some time as there weren’t enough viewers keen to watch the top T20 domestic teams from across the globe play each other,” said the official.

However, the official maintained that promoting Women’s cricket is of the utmost importance to the BCCI, stating that they are looking to provide women cricketers with proper financial backing.

In case you didn't know...

The Indian Women’s Team put up a monumental performance at the recently concluded Women’s World Cup as they went on to reach the final by defeating 6-time champions and one of the pre-tournament favorites Australia in the semi-finals.

They looked set for their maiden World Cup triumph but fell nine runs short in the final, against England. Despite ending the tournament as the runners-up, the Indian Women’s Team won the hearts of fans all over the country with the likes of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Poonam Raut, Smriti Mandhana, Jhulan Goswami, and Deepti Sharma putting on stellar performances throughout the tournament.

The heart of the matter

During the 2016-17 Women’s Big Bash League, Harmanpreet Kaur and Mandhana played for the Sydney Thunder and the Brisbane Heat respectively. While the latter did not get enough playing time with her team, the former produced some really good performances with both bat and ball, including her 37-ball 64 in a losing cause against Perth Scorchers at Perth and her sensational spell of 4/27 against Melbourne Stars at Albury.

Observing that the Women’s Big Bash League had helped two of her teammates enhance their skills, national team skipper Mithali Raj had proposed that a female equivalent of the IPL be established now that Women’s Cricket in India has seen a rapid ascent.

What’s next?

Following their heartbreaking defeat to England in the Women’s World Cup final, the female cricketers will now be looking to get over the loss and take a well-deserved break before they prepare themselves for their next assignment.

Author’s take

The capital required for the establishment of a T20 league is enormous but Australia have still managed to create a women’s equivalent of the BBL which has been going on for two seasons.

BCCI should make an attempt to create a Women’s IPL but as mentioned earlier, broadcasting it could be a difficulty.

Edited by Arvind Sriram

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