Former India captain and BCCI Apex Council member Shantha Rangaswamy on Monday said that the board’s decision to organise Women’s T20 Challenge or Women’s IPL during the men’s IPL playoffs shows that they are committed to the game. She hoped it would lead to a full-fledged Women’s IPL in future as well.
Earlier on Sunday (August 2), BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the Women’s IPL or the Women’s T20 Challenge is “very much on” to Press Trust of India. With this, the speculation of not having a plan for Indian Women’s Cricket to the BCCI has also ended.
“I can confirm to you that the women’s IPL is very much on and we do have a plan in place for the national team also,” Ganguly told PTI before the IPL Governing Council meeting later on Sunday.
The BCCI had earlier received a lot of criticism for withdrawing the name from a tri-series in England in September at a time when they were preparing for the IPL. The cash-rich league is scheduled to be played from September 19 to November 10 in the UAE. On the other hand, Women’s IPL likely to be played in the first week of November who last played in the ICC T20 World Cup final against Australia in March.
“Those who were predicting doomsday for women’s cricket, I want to say to them BCCI is interested in promoting women’s cricket and I would like to thank Brijesh Patel (IPL Chairman), president (Sourav Ganguly) and secretary (Jay Shah) for making this possible in these tough times,” Rangaswamy told PTI.
Before the global pandemic COVID-19 outbreak in the country, the BCCI had announced that the Women’s T20 Challenge or Women’s IPL will feature four teams. While the one-off exhibition match played between Supernovas and Trailblazers in 2018 in Mumbai, one more team was added in 2019 – Team Velocity. With three teams and four matches, the tournament became successful.
“It was supposed to be a four-team event this year but the venue change has made the task much tougher. I am happy that it is happening and hopefully will lead to franchise-based tournament like the IPL in the near future,” she said.
However, Women’s IPL will clash with the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia – the league which holds an important place in the growth of women’s Cricket there. And Australia wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy has raised the question on the timing of the event which led to tussle with the renowned Indian journalist as well.
“We are going through unprecedented times and the board has done the best it could in the current scenario,” Rangaswamy concluded.