In a move that might signal the arrival of the inaugural Women's IPL, some of the finest female cricketers in the world will feature in the Women's T20 Challenge ahead of the IPL 2018 qualifier between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium.
The Women's T20 Challenge will take place on May 22 and will be telecast live. The match that will see Indian stars, Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur captain the two sides, will also feature several T20 stars from Australia, New Zealand and England.
The match that will start at 2 pm will see the Trailblazers, led by Smriti Mandhana and also featured Suzie Bates and Jhulan Goswami, take on the Supernovas side that will be captained by Harmanpreet Kaur and also feature the likes of Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Sophie Devine.
After India's fantastic performance by the Indian Women in the 2017 World Cup, many thought that the time was ripe for India to start a T20 tournament similar to the IPL for the female cricketers. And although that hasn't happened as yet, seeing some of the finest female T20 players in the world, just ahead of a crucial IPL encounter will provide the sport some much-needed exposure and perhaps show the board that a women's IPL should be played sooner rather than later.
The Women's T20 challenge will see the New Zealand captain Suzie Bates play against her compatriot, Sophie Devine, who holds the record for the fastest fifty in women's T20Is while Australian keeper Alyssa Healy go up against her compatriots, Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry.
Speaking about the initiative, 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”.
Here is the complete squads of both sides ahead of the Women's T20 Challenge:
IPL Trailblazers: Alyssa Healy (WK), Smriti Mandhana (C), Suzie Bates, Deepti Sharma, Beth Mooney, Jemimah Rodrigues, Danielle Hazell, Shikha Pandey, Lea Tahuhu, Jhulan Goswami, Ekta Bisht, Poonam Yadav, Dayalan Hemalatha
IPL Supernovas: Danielle Wyatt, Mithali Raj, Meg Lanning, Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry, Veda Krishnamurthy, Mona Meshram, Pooja Vastrakar, Megan Schutt, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Anuja Patil, Taniya Bhatia (wk)