Indian women cricket team’s senior player Mithali Raj, youngsters Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana are now prepping to captain their respective teams announced by the cricket board ahead of the Women’s T20 Challenge, scheduled to take place in UAE between November 4 and 9. According to Raj, the India women’s ODI team captain, this is the time to begin the full-fledged Women’s IPL with six teams, comprising of exceptional international and India stars. The Indian women cricketers have been named in three teams which will be featured in the Women’s T20 Challenge this year. However, the excitement is no less than ongoing IPL, Raj assured that Indian Premier League dedicated to women players is a priority for the BCCI.

She has also demanded the launch of a full-fledged and franchise-based women’s IPL along the lines of the IPL for male cricketers. She said it is probably just two years away.

This year, the talented women’s cricketers from India are teaming up with leading international players from England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh and New Zealand in a four-match tournament, the cricket board said in an official media release.

The Supernovas will be captained by Harmanpreet Kaur, while the Trailblazers will be headed by Smriti Mandhana and the Velocity players have Mithali Raj as their captain

‘Women’s cricket is a priority’

“For BCCI, women’s cricket is a priority because hosting the women’s IPL in such difficult times, that itself tells they want to have the continuity going from the last edition into this year. Even though we will miss out on world-class players, I think it will give an opportunity for young players and a lot of uncapped domestic players to get some matches,” Mithali Raj told India Today.

Further claiming that India’s shining women cricketers deserve to play full-fledged IPL, she added, “I think in another 2 year’s time we will have a platform to have women’s’ IPL too. Somewhere hosting the women’s IPL and giving us the prime time and giving us the venue to play says that the BCCI is pushing forward or giving women’s cricket the kind of priority that we women’s cricketers need.”

“In a couple of year’s time, there will maybe be a full-fledged franchise sort of women’s IPL in India,” Raj assured. Earlier, Raj too believed in “creating the base” of an Indian Premier League dedicated to women players.

She further said the women players could achieve wonders if given more opportunities. “Well, we are already fielding in 3 teams. Last edition and this year, it’s a 3-team tournament. So maybe, we can have 6 teams. You can relax a bit of a rule of fielding overseas players, maybe for the first edition as the tournament continues, maybe we change the rules,” she was quoted as saying.

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.