After the women’s cricket team had its first match playoff in the Indian Premier League 2018, Committee of Administrators’ member Diana Edulji is all for expansion in terms of more women’s game in the upcoming IPLs. While it is true that the women’s game fell short in attracting crowds in Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium ahead of the IPL Qualifier 1 between eventual IPL champions Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 22, the fact that BCCI organised it is a step forward.
“In my view, the match was a success. Many people followed it on television. Yes, there were not many spectators but that was also the case during the 2016 Women’s World T20 (when the event happened simultaneously with the men’s competition),” Edulji told PTI.
“So, I am not so sure if the BCCI could have scheduled the game better, but considering it accommodated the game during the IPL, the board did the best it could. I am sure it will organize more games like these in next season, if not a full-fledged IPL,” the former India captain said.
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Women’s cricket’s stalwarts like Harmanpreet Kaur, Mithali Raj, Suzie Bates and Meg Lanning participated in the game.
“In my view, the match was a success. Many people followed it on television. Yes, there were not many spectators but that was also the case during the 2016 Women’s World T20 (when the event happened simultaneously with the men’s competition)”
India T20 captain Harmanpreet and opener Smriti Mandhana have recommended that women’s IPL can start even with four teams because of the lack of great Indian players. Talking about the exhibition match before it started at Wankhede, Mandhana said, “Well, we cannot have eight teams right now, but yes, three or four teams. To start with, it would be a good initiative because when the men’s IPL began (in 2008), only foreigners did well in the first two seasons. Later on, we started developing India’s bench strength.”
Edulji also spoke to foreign players from England, New Zealand and Australia. “The foreigners felt very excited to participate in this one-off game and they have already told me that they are looking forward to being here next year. They also appreciated the BCCI offer to call them over here at such a short notice,” she added.
Picture credit- Ebela.in