There is much speculation on the Women’s IPL being introduced by BCCI in the coming years. Last year in the midst we saw one exhibition match played between Trailblazers and Supernovas. This year the count has risen to four matches.
An additional team, Velocity has been added into the tournament. With an increase in count the, players are rejoicing seeing India progressing and evolving in Women’s Cricket.
No doubt the 2017 Women’s World Cup saw great support for our girls in tournament. The tournament revolutionised Indian Women’s Cricket globally. Our girls played in a house full stadium at Lord’s. In 2018, Women’s World T20 was another ICC tournament that saw an increase in the average viewership. But what happens, when the same cricket comes to our country?
The stepping stones of Women’s IPL have been laid. Cricket is as exciting as the men’s format. We witnessed a nail-biting encounter between Trailblazers and Supernovas, where the Trailblazers were victorious by a mere 2 runs!
The match saw a flamboyant 90 scored by the Trailblazer’s skipper Smriti Mandhana. The Supernova’s skipper Harmanpreet Kaur played a fighting knock alongside Sophie Devine but fell eventually fell short.
In 2018, the one-off exhibition match was played in Mumbai. The match was a day game and had a 2 pm start. BCCI’s unorganised planning for that was sufficient enough to keep the stadium almost empty. The food stalls at the Wankhede were not set up as well. Hence it was understandable why the crowd was unhappy.
This year, BCCI seemed to have planned the event well and have organised all the matches in Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur. All the games except one (which clashes with the Eliminator) are night games. On Monday for the inaugural game, there were only about 300 people, to begin with. It was also brought to notice that Monday was a holiday due to state elections.
The game had a 7:30 start as well. The entry to the stadium was made FREE by the BCCI as the sales were so less! This year, with BCCI doing almost everything right as compared to last year the turnaround was still very underwhelming. In a stadium with a capacity of 30,000, having only 300 people turn up would most certainly put the status of Women’s IPL in this country at jeopardy.
We definitely want women’s cricket to grow and would most certainly want an IPL for our women. Australia and England already have their T20 leagues in the women’s version. The international variant of women’s cricket has been gladly accepted by all of us. Now it’s time we support our women in huge numbers so that the pace of initiating a Women’s IPL in our country increases.