Sourav Ganguly feels that a 7-team Women’s IPL is at least 4 years away. The BCCI president said that we also need to look at the practicality of such a tournament.
Since the women’s cricket team of India played in the final of the 2017 World Cup, the popularity of the women’s game has grown in the country by leaps and bounds. With the interest of people increasing in female cricket, there have been talks of bringing a full-fledged women’s league for quite a while now. Last year BCCI had conducted Women’s T20 Challenge which had 2 teams – Supernovas and Trailblazers playing an one-off exhibition match. This year a third team was added – Velocity. Captained by Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj – the three superstars of women’s cricket in India, the teams played 3 games against each other before the top 2 teams advanced to the final stage. Velocity played Supernovas in the final match which the latter had won by 4 wickets in a last-ball thriller.
Recent India vs South Africa series saw good crowd support at Surat and many current and former cricketers feel that it is the right time for a proper Women’s IPL. However, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly believes that a 7 or eight-team women’s tournament is at least 4 years away.
Talking to India Today, Ganguly highlighted the need of more women players. “Three years down the line, when you have 150-160 players, you can take the IPL forward. Right now, we have 50-60 players”, he said. A 7-team IPL will require more female players playing optimal cricket. But Ganguly also admitted that the push for women’s cricket has been enormous over the last few years.
This year’s Women’s T20 Challenge was held in Jaipur and it witnessed good crowds. As reported by ESPNCricinfo, the board is in talks of making it a 4-team event next year, with each team playing the other twice.