Australia and international cricket’s biggest stars Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry will not be part of the Women’s T20 Challenge organised by the BCCI alongside the Indian Premier League playoffs as a consequence of a dispute between the two countries’ cricket boards.
Their names were not included in the list of teams announced by BCCI last week and a report by ESPNCricinfo on Monday night said that Cricket Australia has apologised to the trio for them missing out on the cash-rich league.
This is the latest development in the dispute between CA and BCCI over a proposed men’s ODI series in India in January next year. As per the new Future Tours Program, Australia are scheduled to play three ODIs in January 2020 – which is during the Australian summer – and CA are in a hot water over it owing to pressure from broadcasters.
Another ESPNCricinfo report stated BCCI is insistent on CA sticking to the plan and send their team to India. However, this has not gone down well in Australia with broadcasters angry about no one day cricket on the home calendar while also taking the top players overseas during the Big Bash League.
As a result, CA is said to have used the availability of the top women players for the T20 challenge as a bargaining chip. Australian players had been a big draw at the inaugural Women’s T20 Challenge match last year.
While CA has denied this, they did issue a public apology for how a “communication breakdown” had cost the three top players a chance to play in the four-match tournament which comes with a big pay package.
“While we are in regular contact with the BCCI, there has clearly been a communication breakdown on this occasion and the women have been impacted as a result. We’re sorry this has happened and are determined to ensure our relationship with India remains open and collaborative to avoid future such incidents,” a CA spokesperson was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
The Women’s T20 Challenge will see top international cricketers from England, New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh play in a four-match T20 tri-series during the IPL Playoffs in May. All the teams consist of 13 players with four overseas cricketers each.