Every year the IPL comes up with new taglines to celebrate the successful functioning of its new edition. This time it was “Yeh 10 Saal Aapke Naam.” Though it is necessary that only the other half of the human species should proudly commemorate with this celebration. Looking at the benefits of the IPL as a gift to the world of cricket and after 10 years of repetitive renovation of this premier league, something that crossed our minds was why should female cricket be any lesser?
Before we further dive into the matter of importance, it is always better to take a look back at past and up to the present. Women’s arrival in cricket took place after the women’s Cricket Association was formed in the year of 1973. The first Test match that was played by the Women’s cricket team of India was against West Indies 3 years from the formation of the council and here they are! The overall international ranking given to the Indian team based on the results incorporated from Tests, ODIs and the T20Is places India on the 5th rank with a total of 37 matches played. Out of which they have played a sum of 11 World T20 matches in the years of 2009, 2010 and 2012 and won 4 of them. India having played the Asia Cup over the years between 2004 and 2016 with 32 matches securing the lead position on every successful edition of the cup. They’ve also been the leaders at the Championship at T20 Internationals by winning the 10 matches in the year of 2012 and 2016.
After the smooth completion of the Women’s Big Bash League from Australia which premiered its season in the year of 2015-16 and the women’s edition of the Super League in England, the need for India to have its own Women’s IPL was strongly sensed by female cricket fans. Certainly there isn’t anything that can stop it or stand as an obstacle because the necessities are being met.
Meg Lanning the Australian Women’s captain, who also captained the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL, said the success of the league was “great for the game”. The tournament attracted record crowds and strong viewership numbers on television.
By now almost all the prominent countries have their own women’s cricket team. Thailand even hosted the World Cup Qualifiers this year and it was a great show! All the teams have been constantly taking measures towards training and the displays of skills have been amazing so far. All the teams have played against each other for more than one match and are well known to the players in each team and the level of competition that each one is capable of putting up. We’ve already found players that carry the ability to take lead of individual teams as well. Forming teams shouldn’t be a problem at all. We can inherit the same teams that have been promoted in the IPL just like the WBBL did. The only thing that is holding it back is active participation.
Lanning also felt Twenty20 cricket was the best platform to showcase women’s cricket. “It is certainly a very exciting form of the game,” she said. “It creates a great atmosphere and people want to watch it. T20 has been the vehicle of women’s cricket for last few years. We love playing Tests when we get a chance and we love playing more. There’s no doubt T20 is the way forward for the women’s game.”
The need for a Women’s IPL was further replicated by Charlotte Edwards, the England Women’s captain, who played for the Perth Scorchers in the WBBL. “We would really like to see an IPL and even Indian players playing in the Super League and WBBL,” Edwards said. “It will be great for our game. You have seen what IPL has done for the men’s game; it will be fantastic for women’s cricket if it happens.”
With the entire embracing environment building up towards the Women’s IPL we hope to see it soon. That day will mark the beginning of a new era for female cricket in India, something that isn’t less than a revolution.