Women’s T20 challenge to be played ahead of the IPL qualifiers
What’s the story?
In recent news coming in, there’s going to be a Women’s T20 challenge which will be played on May 22nd to be held at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai ahead of the IPL Qualifier 1. The game will be telecast live.
This match will be captained by two Indian international stars Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur respectively. The teams will feature players from various countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and England.
In Case You Didn't Know
After the Indian Women team’s fantastic performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2017, where they narrowly missed out on winning the title, the popularity and interest for Women’s cricket has increased. There were talks of cashing in on this popularity and giving the Women a chance to play in a tournament similar to the IPL.
In a first attempt to make that a reality, a Women’s T20 challenge is scheduled to take place on May 22nd where the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur will get to play alongside the likes of Elysse Perry, Suzie Bates, and Danni Wyatt.
The Heart Of The Matter
Ever since the performance of the Indian Women’s team in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2017, which made the world stand up and take notice of women’s cricket in India and across the world.
BCCI administrator and former India Women’s captain Diana Edulji said that this move by the BCCI is a progressive step in the right direction. She went to express her happiness that this one of a kind exhibition game to be played before the IPL playoffs would garner a lot of eyeballs and would be a morale boost for the improvement of Women’s cricket.
Such an event hasn’t been witnessed yet for Indian Women’s cricket where they will rub shoulders with big stars from other countries and play along with each other. It is assured to be a precursor for bigger things to come in the future- Women’s IPL.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said: “Even as IPL continues to roll like a well-oiled machine, over the last couple of weeks, efforts were made to put in place a similar structure for women cricketers. We were in talks with several boards and I am pleased with the outcome. White Ferns captain Suzie Bates, attacking batter Sophie Devine, who holds the record for fastest half-century in women’s T20Is, Australia’s fine all-rounder Ellyse Perry, wicket-keeper bat Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Beth Mooney have confirmed their participation. Danni Wyatt and Daniel Hazell will add the English flavor”.
It’s about time women’s cricket got it’s due. Indians, in particular, have neglected women’s cricket and it’s a pity that a fantastic performance in the ICC World Cup in 2017 caught the attention of the viewers and cricket fanatics across the country.
A largely neglected section is slowly getting recognition and support from the BCCI. It doesn’t matter what triggered that but just the fact that the women’s game is being given importance and action is being taken to increase its popularity and reach is promising to see.
The exhibition match or the Women’s T20 challenge is only the start of what’s going to a game-changer for Women’s cricket. With talks of a Women’s IPL in the pipeline, things are looking bright for women’s cricket.
With the popularity of the WBBL, the WIPL should be interesting and popular as well. What the world cup performance has done is a lot of women’s bi-lateral series are being telecast including the tri-series between India, Australia, and England.
As more games get telecast, more people will be able to get familiar with players from different countries and then they would warm up to the WIPL when it arrives.
It’s important to note that if a Virat Kohli or a MS Dhoni are inspirations for many people, so are Mithali Raj and their team as they have managed to break the glass ceiling and make women’s cricket a viable prospect and a force to reckon with.