2021 has been a year of success and growth for women’s cricket. The increasing admiration players have got in every match especially for franchise cricket is worth appreciating. The seventh edition of Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) which was the only full-fledged league of women’s cricket till last year recorded its highest ever viewership. Prior to it, the inaugural edition of The Hundred organized by the England and Wales Cricket board got a record number of viewers as well.
The success of both the franchise tournaments has been a big boost for women’s cricket and at the same time has seen an increasing demand to bring in the women’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is regarded as one of the biggest cricketing festivals in men’s cricket.
The demand that had been actively supported by the Indian star’s Jemimah, Harmanpreet including others, has seen increasing support from players from other countries as well. The latest coming from the White Ferns captain Sophie Devine and her teammates Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr during an interaction facilitated by Amazon Prime Video to mark the beginning of live cricket streaming on the streaming platform.
Vowing for a full-fledged IPL, Devine calls the success of WBBL as enormous, raising the profile of women’s cricket. Further appreciating the Indian players who were a part of the league.
She said, “I think that the success of WBBL in Australia has been enormous and raised the profile of that. The standard of cricket as well has certainly improved, and I guess that the international players have been a part of it. Likewise, we needed a number of Indian players playing in the WBBL, which was fantastic. I would love to see a women’s IPL kick-off. I think that’s certainly the next step in taking the game globally for the women’s side of things. So, fingers crossed for the next few years for it to be on the cards,”
Her comments were supported by the former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates who further added that franchise cricket leads to increasing support and growth of international games and India is the next one on the line after the success of WBBL and The Hundred.
“I just agree with Sophie that franchise cricket has changed the women’s game drastically and can have more professional players all around the world whether playing for the country or in franchise cricket. The better the standards you get, the more time you put into your cricket. So, any franchise opportunity is key for supporting and growing the international game. In my opinion, India is the next big step after the success of WBBL and The Hundred competition in England,” Suzie said.
Further, agreeing to what her senior teammates said, 21 years old Amelia Kerr who has already completed 5 years playing for the national side at such a young age, added that the passion and love for cricket in India have been enormous which makes women’s IPL the next big league on the list.
She said, “I agree with Sophie and Suzie. The franchise cricket has been so important to create a changing room of people from all over the world and learn of people who play for other countries as well. Obviously, the next step is a women’s IPL. There were a few exhibitions matches but we speak of the passion and love for the game India has and how successful the men’s IPL is. So, having a women’s IPL will be incredible,”.
It is to be noted that The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has organized three editions of the Women’s T20 Challenge since 2018. However, unlike men’s IPL which would be a 10-team affair from next year, it isn’t a full-fledged one and a short one too given the number of teams is just three.
To add on, in conversion with renowned Sports Journalist Boria Majumdar on his recently launched show ‘‘Backstage with Boria’, BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly shared that the board is planning to go ahead with the women’s edition of IPL and hopefully would be able to share a proper plan in the next three to four months.
This statement delighted not just the players but their fans as well. We are eager to witness Women’s IPL very soon and hope that just like the success of the men’s edition, the women’s edition will also witness increasing popularity and would be fun to watch.
Loves all things female cricket