Since 2015, talks of Women’s IPL has been doing the rounds, but no action has been taken in that direction by the Board of Control of Cricket in India. The popularity of the women has risen since then; they reached the World Cup finals three years ago and lost by nine runs to England and also emerged second-best this year in the T20 WC in Australia – where the final saw record attendance at the MCG, but BCCI does not seem to pay heed to that.
To make things worse, the England tour has also been canceled amid the pandemic. BCCI cited logistical problems, such as travel restrictions, assembling of training camps. And on the other hand, the Men’s IPL is being shifted to UAE amid the pandemic after ICC postponed the scheduled T20 World Cup. All that for the men and nothing for the women. This is nothing out of the ordinary, considering how women’s cricket has been treated in India over the years. Then why make promises?
Meanwhile, in England, women’s cricket has resumed with the London Cup and the BBL is slated to take place later this year.
Eyes would now be on the IPL governing council meeting next week, chairman Brijesh Patel has assured that the future of the women’s game will be discussed at length.
“We will be discussing all those matters (regarding the tournament) in the meeting,” Brijesh Patel, Chairman of IPL governing council, told Sportstar.
“The window for IPL is from September 19 to November 8 in UAE. This is clashing with the Women’s Big Bash League and top players may not be available. Had ICC announced the T20 World Cup postponed earlier we could have spoken with other boards and discussed a window for women’s matches,” Patel was quoted as saying to The Week.
The BCCI had earlier in the year announced that a four-team Women’s T20 Challenge tournament will be played in Jaipur in the lead up to the Men’s IPL, but all that was put to rest due to the pandemic.
Cricketers like Mithali Raj and other former cricketers have time and again questioned the BCCI over their plans of the Women’s IPL, but all that has gone unheard.
A lot of questions would be answered after the IPL Governing Council meeting next week. Keeping our fingers crossed.