The inaugural edition of the much-awaited, The Hundred, a 100-ball competition is on the verge of starting in the next month as it takes it on from July 21 at The Oval. The tournament is supposed to feature five Indian players that enlist Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, all-rounder Deepti Sharma and batter Jemimah Rodrigues.
Earlier in May, Rodrigues too had secured her No Objection Certificate (NOC) by the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) to enrol herself with the other four of her mates in the much-hyped English domestic tournament, The Hundred.
BCCI has remarked on a positive note that the participation of India in the English-inaugurated, The Hundred, will surely provide the side with the much-needed exposure and brushing up of the game against the elite opponents. This series is supposed to be held in the probably-correct times just when the 50-over World cup awaits next year in New Zealand.
The BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal told Reuters over the phone, “The idea is for them to get exposure in England.”
In general, it has been seen that the Board does not permit the men’s side to take part in the overseas franchise-based leagues as it is common for the overseas players to enroll themselves in the playing elevens of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Despite this, there have been instances where some of the maestros of the longest form of cricket have played county cricket in England that includes Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and a few more.
He said, “Some of our boys have played county cricket, and that has given them a great opportunity and exposure. We want to take women’s cricket forward similarly. This experience will definitely come in handy in the World Cup next year.”
Adding to it, it’s notified that the duo of Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana have experiences in the Australian Big Bash League T20 competition. Confining to the fact that the only series that the blue army has played in the last few months is the one against South Africa in the limited-overs series in March, the calendar now looks somewhat better.
The Mithali Raj-led side will be heading on to lock horns with the hosts, England in Bristol for the one-off Test match that is supposed to be the first in the last seven years. Post the only Test, the tournament awaits for the two sides with three ODIs and T20s each.
“We are trying to figure out if that can be played with the UAE leg of the IPL,” Dhumal added, “hopefully we’ll get a window. We’ll have to see venue availability as well.”
This statement came amid a situation where the scheduling of The Women’s T20 Challenge might take place with the remaining matches of IPL. The IPL that was suspended due to the alarming state of the second wave of COVID-19, will be running alongside The Challenge.
One more in the queue is the maiden Pink-ball Test against Australia which is all set to be conducted later this year, thus making September and October cricket-fledgy for India if the Women’s T20 Challenge is given room to take place alongside.