Veteran Indian cricketer, Mithali Raj reckons that BCCI should not “wait forever” to start the women’s IPL. She urged the board to make it happen next year on a smaller scale before gradually developing it. After India lost the T20 World Cup in the finals earlier this month, legendary Indian cricketer, Sunil Gavaskar had called for full-fledged women’s IPL from next year to unearth talent.
As per the quotes on ESPNCricinfo Mithali said, “I personally feel they should start a women’s IPL by next year, even if it’s on a slightly smaller scale and with some changes in rules, such as, say, have five to six foreign players in the first edition instead of four as is the case with the men’s IPL.”
In 2019, a three-team women’s tournament was held featuring teams called IPL Velocity, IPL Trailblazers and IPL Supernovas.
This year, the BCCI had decided to organize a four-team women’s T20 challenge to run parallel to the men’s IPL playoffs, but now it has been put on hold along with the main event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The current scenario suggest that India doesn’t have enough women cricketers for a full-fledged IPL but Raj said it can still be conducted if existing IPL franchises own teams to begin the process.
Mithali further explained, “I agree we don’t have the depth in the domestic pool yet, but the key is to get the existing franchises to form teams, even if (only) five or six of them are keen to begin the process because in any case, the BCCI was going to have four teams. You cannot wait forever; you have to begin at some point, and gradually, year by year, you can keep evolving the league and then bring it down to four foreign players.”
Raj also said that teen sensation Shafali Verma should be included in the ODIs as well.