After the first-of-its-kind women’s IPL exhibition match in Mumbai on Tuesday, the BCCI is reportedly considering a women’s edition of the league next year onwards. This proposed women’s Indian Premier League will be on a smaller scale with about three to four teams in action, according to a report by The Indian Express.
Earlier Vinod Rai, chairman of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, had said that India aims to launch a women’s edition of the Indian Premier League in the next ‘two-three’ years.
However, the report says that Indian board is keen to maintain continuity in the promotion of the women’s game in India.
“It’s important to have continuity. The exhibition game was just a start. We agree to the fact that we could have planned it better which we will do from next season. There were various reasons for the stadium being near-empty but we are hopeful that slowly the popularity will increase. That is why we are now mulling a 3-4 team women’s league from next year in smaller centres. Smaller cities like Baroda, have seen a great turnout for women’s games generally,” a BCCI official was quoted as saying.
“We are planning to get a women’s IPL in place in two to three years,” Rai had told AFP last week.
Pressure for a women’s IPL has been building since India reached the final of the women’s World Cup in England last year.
The exhibition match this week, featuring some of the top names in international cricket, turned out to be a last-over thriller, and despite the low attendance due to timing and logistics, the match was given a thumb up.
The proposed new league will however be held at smaller venues where the audience participation will be higher. Baroda, for example, had a sizable number of spectators during the ODI series against Australia.
But one of the biggest obstacles for the creation of a women’s IPL is the player pool at the domestic level. The report states that BCCI will also be expected to start identifying a set of players to play the league.