Is Women’s IPL the need of the hour?

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Is it the right time for BCCI to organize Women’s IPL?

The IPL 2020 got suspended due to rising COVID-19 concerns in the country. With this, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also suspended the Women’s T20 Challenge.

But is the time ripe for the Board to organize a Women’s IPL?

Shafali Verma’s rise

Back in 2019, Shafali Verma made her debut at the age of 15, becoming the youngest to play for India in a T20I match. She was drafted in the T20 World Cup squad and her scintillating strokeplay grabbed quite a few eyeballs.

The Indian Women’s team reached the Finals but ended up succumbing to the pressure created by the Australians.

The roots of the journey of the wonder kid, Shafali Varma, could well be the reason for the inception of the Women’s T20 Challenge back in 2018. The tournament is a three-team affair organized during the Playoffs of the IPL.

Now, the question arises whether a Women’s IPL should be organized with an increased number of teams? As far as the results of the Women’s T20 Challenge are considered, the answer can be a possible Yes.

ALSO READ |  India’s Senior Women squad for a Test match, ODI and T20I series against England announced

WBBL and Super League

Australia is the current World T20 Champions. They have won the ICC’s marquee event 5 times, making them the most successful team in this format.

The Australian Women’s team have reaped these rewards because they have a brilliant domestic structure. Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), the domestic tournament in the country, started in 2015-16 with 8 teams competing. Now, even the England Cricket Board has started their version, the Women’s Cricket Super League, just like the WBBL.

Young players get a lot of experience playing in these leagues. The fact that they get to share the dressing room with experienced players serves as a source of motivation for them to do better.

The rise of Shafali Verma can be quoted as the best example there is. The confidence she would have gained through it wouldn’t have been possible playing just domestic games. Verma was whacking the best of bowlers in the world all around the park at will.

ALSO READ | Shafali Verma to bat for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred

Time for Women’s IPL

It is the right time for BCCI to take this step that can potentially encourage girls to pursue cricket as a career. The day isn’t far when the stalwarts of the Women’s game like Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami retire from the game. It will be very hard for the management to fill the void then.

Indian Women’s team, like any other player, needs ample experience under their belt before stepping out on the field at the highest level.

We have seen how Indian players have failed to perform in pressure situations. The Women’s IPL could be the perfect platform to help them come out on top in such situations.

The IPL has been the stepping stone for several players. The same could be the case with the women’s tournament as well. After all, IPL’s motto is “Where Talent meets Opportunity” and the time is ripe for the Women’s Indian Premier League to hit the cricketing world.

ALSO READ | India Women’s cricket team to tour Australia in September

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(Image Courtesy: iplt20.com)

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