Ganguly Says Women’s IPL Maybe Possible By 2023
Women cricketers have, in recent times, talked about the possibility of a women’s IPL.
Goes without saying how the introduction of T20 cricket changed international cricket forever. And then the launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL) changed domestic T20 cricket around the world forever! The IPL has grown into the richest and most popular domestic cricketing T20 league in the world. It attracts top international players from all over the world and fosters young talent across India.
Women cricketers in India also want the chance to play in a tournament as special as the IPL. As a result, they are pushing for a women’s IPL (WIPL) to be launched. About five years ago, there was very little interest in women’s cricket. But in recent years, that interest has grown by leaps and bounds. Women cricketers like Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur have become big stars in their own right.
A WIPL will not only boost the popular of cricket amongst Indian women and around the world but will also enable women cricketers to take home nice pay checks and get a feel of what the IPL is all about.
Player Pool Too Small To Host Women’s IPL
For this to take place, the BCCI will need to back the campaign to launch a WIPL. However, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is against the idea for now saying that this is not the right time. For a full-fledged WIPL to take place, he says, 7 or 8 teams would be required. The BCCI president made a logical argument against launching a WIPL anytime soon saying that the player pool is just not big enough to entertain an IPL format.
The BCCI was responsible for creating an exhibition like tournament called the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2018. It went down well with the crowd and the BCCI decided to host it again this year in Jaipur and have three teams participate. This T20 tournament also did well as a number of senior players were impressed with the cricket they saw and the performances of the women cricketers.
The next edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge could take place in South Africa as the BCCI is looking to promote women’s cricket in the coming months. The plan is to take the tournament to different cities around the world and drum up interest for women’s cricket in India and the rest of the world.
Ganguly believes all this is very good for women’s cricket and will help build the game. The BCCI president says at this point of time the women’s cricket pool has only around 50 to 60 players. To run a successful IPL, one needs to a talent pool of 150 to 160.
WIPL Will Be Possible By 2023
Ganguly clarified that the BCCI was in favour of hosting a women’s IPL but not anytime soon because of the above reasons. He said women’s cricket needed a few more years to grow. Expansion across different parts of the world would create a bigger talent pool in the next 3 to 4 years.
During the coming years, the BCCI has it on its agenda to develop women’s cricket in India. The push will look to strengthen state cricket across the country and focus on developing more talented women cricketers. Ganguly wants state associations to play a bigger role in finding and nurturing talent.
The BCCI has already re-introduced women A tours. It is an attempt to curb the gap between domestic and international women cricketers. An India A team will tour Australia before the senior team departs for a tri-series (January 2020).
The best chance for women cricketers in India to stake their case for a WIPL? Win the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup (February 21 – March 8) in Australia one would think!