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Women's Cricket

Why are our women cricketers unsure about the need for a women's IPL?

In her recent interview, Mithali Raj said that people should not be talking about Women's IPL and instead focus on the upcoming World Cup as that is a more significant event

India captain Mithali Raj at a womens exhibition match during mens IPL (Source: TOI)
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India captain Mithali Raj at a women's exhibition match during men's IPL (Source: TOI)

By

Soumya Bontra

Updated: 10 Nov 2021 12:20 PM GMT

Women's cricket in India has seen a rapid rise in recent years and the support from fans has also been tremendous. This growth has also seen a great demand for a Women's IPL in the country -- by fans as well as international cricketers. However, the same cannot be said for our own women cricketers, who have been blowing hot and cold on the issue.

India ODI captain Mithali Raj has inspired generations of budding cricketers and is a role model for many. Like her many other Indian teammates, Raj has also been highlighting the need for a Women's IPL on various occasions. In a candid conversation with Harsha Bhogle earlier this year, Raj had said, "The pandemic has delayed the expansion of women's IPL. In the next 3-4 years, we could see a six-team IPL. It's the right time to have a women's IPL."

However, in her recent interview with Cricket.com, Raj said that people should not be talking about Women's IPL and instead focus on the upcoming World Cup as that is a more significant event.

She said, "People do say that it's time for women's IPL, but I think the Board is the best judge to understand when they can come up with the Women's IPL. Right now, I feel instead of talking about the IPL, it's important that we focus on the World Cup as that it's a major event. If the team does well in the World Cup, then it will be a huge boost for the sport in the country and for the domestic players as well."

Even if fans agreed with Mithali's statement about logistics and commerce involved in franchise cricket, there was still some unhappiness about it. Many believe a player's association is necessary because the system weighs down players. Only a union like this can ramp up the demand for a women's IPL, they think.

The women's IPL has been in talks for many years, yet there are no signs of it being made into a reality. BCCI officials have just been tossing questions related to the league by saying, "it will happen very soon."

On the other hand, the Pakistan Cricket Board is looking forward to becoming the first Asian country to launch a women's T20 franchise league and set an example for others.

Also Read - Ramiz Raja hopes Pakistan becomes first Asian country to launch women's T20 franchise league

Indian star opener Smriti Mandhana, T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Australian batter-wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy and even Indian spinner R Ashwin have been vocal about the need for Women's IPL. According to them, it will be helpful at the international level and be a platform for domestic players to showcase their talent.

If BCCI can include two new teams in Men's IPL, it is hoped they can definitely start working towards introducing Women's IPL in the country.

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