Star India batter and vice-captain of Team India, Smriti Mandhana has thrown her weight behind the Women’s IPL that is expected to get started in March. Sharing her unequivocal support for the league, she asserts that the WIPL will help nurture future talent and create a bench strength for Team India going ahead.
She also added that it will make the girls more adept at dealing with pressure situations. Having borne the brunt of small margins and the repercussions it can have, India has lost to England in the finals of the ICC Women’s ODI World Cup in 2017 and versus Australia in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 among the myriad of matches that continue to hurt India.
“Women’s IPL is going to be a great tournament in terms of bench strength. What happened to women’s cricket is that bench strength was created in the same way. Just like Women’s Big Bash and Women’s The Hundred did for Australia and England respectively in the same way Women’s IPL will help us see higher pressure situations. So, they will be ready when they will play international cricket”, she was quoted while speaking to the ANI.
Women’s IPL has sent everyone into a tizzy as the league has the potential to change the very fabric of Indian cricket like how it did for men’s cricket and it has been brainstormed by the BCCI as a five-team tournament that will kick off at the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa. The BCCI has previously hosted the exhibition T20 tournament, ‘Women’s T20 Challenge’ that started as a one-off game before it was expanded to include three teams from 2019 to 2022. The logistics and other requirements of the tournament are being taken care of by the BCCI and there are some areas to look into before the tournament commences.
Women’s cricket has been scaling greater heights and even domestic cricket has been regularly churning stars who deserve a bigger platform and the WIPL has the potential to catapult them to the national side and perform for the better. On a macro-level too, the WIPL will join the elite leagues like The Hundred, the Caribbean Premier League, and the WBBL as showpiece T20 events in the women’s cricket circuit and will serve as an excellent advertisement for women’s cricket.
I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.