Mithali Raj, the captain of the women’s Indian cricket team admitted that women cricketers in India are concerned about their future. There has been no cricket in India for the last 6 months due to COVID-19 and women cricketers have not been allowed to train or have net sessions for months on end.
The BCCI has also officially suspended all domestic cricket in 2020 which means there is very little opportunity for women cricketers to train and play. The IPL 2020 which is currently being hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has provided an opportunity for the Indian cricket team and lots of domestic cricketers to start playing cricket again.
The women’s team is slowly getting back to training as special slots are being scheduled so that cricketers can get in some net practice. However, Raj has admitted that her teammates are confused as they are not sure what they are training for as there is no confirmation as to what tournaments they are expected to play in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
T20 Challenge In The UAE
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is the right person to address these issues and he shed more light on the future of women’s cricket in India. Ganguly said that that the BCCI has decided to host the Women’s T20 Challenge during the IPL 2020 playoffs. The tournament will also take place in the UAE and will run from Nov 1 to 10.
The Women’s T20 Challenge will see a total of three teams take part and a total of 7 matches. There will be two round robin stages and will culminate with the final. The BCCI has a little over a month to make arrangements and try and pull off a successful Women’s T20 Challenge.
The BCCI is likely to create another bio-bubble in the UAE, similar to what is being used during the IPL. This is to ensure that all women cricketers are kept safe and secure during their time in the UAE. Given the fact that India’s women cricketers have had very little match training, they will fly to the UAE in early October to start training and regain match fitness.
Mithali Raj said that most of the players were keen to start playing cricket again and had no problem entering a bio-bubble and conforming to the standard operating procedures laid down by the BCCI. There will be four cricketers who will have to forego their trip to play in the women’s Big Bash League in Australia as their services will be required in the UAE.
Ganguly’s Conflict Of Interest Raised Again
Sourav Ganguly is mostly a happy man these days as he has succeeded in getting the IPL up and running in 2020. The first few games in IPL 2020 have been fantastic for cricket fans and Ganguly is keen to keep the momentum going.
The BCCI President took some heat earlier this week on social media as Indian fans once again brought the spotlight on a possible conflict of interest with Ganguly and the IPL. Sourav Ganguly was the mentor to the Delhi Capitals in 2019 but gave up that role once he became the BCCI President.
Ganguly claims that he no longer has any ties to the Delhi Capitals but that was brought into question after Delhi Capitals skipper Shreyas Iyer publically thanked head coach Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly for helping him take on more responsibility and be a better leader.
Once the conflict of interest claims resurfaced, Iyer took to Twitter to clarify his remarks. He tweeted that he was only expressing his gratitude to Ganguly who had helped him last season – effectively claiming that no help was received in 2020.