Why Don’t We Have A Full-Fledged Women’s IPL Tournament As Yet?

The Indian women’s cricket team is full of talented player like Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur. It's about time we have a full-fledged Women’s IPL tournament!

The Indian women’s cricket team is full of talented player like Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur. It’s about time we have a full-fledged Women’s IPL tournament!

India has been doing pretty well over the past few years thanks to Mithali Raj and other players like Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Jhulan Goswami!

The last Women’s T-20 tournament, that was played in 2020, had garnered record-breaking viewership within India! It’s about time BCCI takes recognition of the interest in women’s cricket and starts a Women’s IPL tournament!

Australia and England have consistently worked to build onto the talents of their female athletes!

The Indian Women’s Cricket Team gave their Australian counterparts a tough time Down Under. While Australia may have won the One Day International (ODI) series, our team led by Mithali Raj, a cricketer who has scored more runs than anyone in International Women’s cricket, has been extremely competitive. In spite of great performances from individual players, we have not been able to win any world championships.

Women’s cricket has two major world tournaments which are organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC)- the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup & the T20. We came close to winning both these contests in 2017 and 2020 but fell short.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the kind of talent pool that teams like Australia and England possess. These two teams have provided world-class training and facilities for their players. India has made credible efforts in this direction but we need more time to catch up.

Why have we not started a Women’s IPL yet?

It is a crying shame that while Men’s Cricket has the best T20 tournament in the world, women’s cricket is lagging far behind. Cricketing experts say that we do not have enough talent pool to start an eight-team tournament (like the Men’s IPL). While it is true that we are lacking in this area, we cannot deny women cricketers the opportunity to play in a world-class competition!

In the men’s IPL, each team can play seven local and four foreign players in a match. Cricket commentator and Expert Harsha Bhogle, has suggested that we can address this problem easily. His solution involves having up to six foreign cricketers in every team in the initial years. This will allow us to at least hold the tournament which will ultimately benefit our players.

Many think that Women’s IPL Tournament will not be financially viable, but that is simply not true!

Another reason that apparently holds back a full-fledged Women’s IPL is that it may not be commercially viable in terms of viewership. But that’s simply not true.

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A Women’s IPL tournament can generate enough interest both among the audiences and sponsors to hold its ground. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been holding the Women’s T20 Challenge for the past three years. It was a miniature version of the IPL, with only three teams and four matches.

The last Women’s T-20 tournament, that was played in 2020, had garnered 5.34 billion minutes in record-breaking viewership within India. It also had more than 105 million unique viewers tuning in to watch the competition.

That surely sounds impressive now, doesn’t it?

A Women’s IPL Tournament in 2022?

It is high time that BCCI starts a Women’s IPL in 2022 so that India can find the talent it needs to flourish. We have much more financial and human resources than any other team in World Cricket.

The Indian Men’s team is feared and respected by their competitors for what they have achieved.

Women’s team should also get a similar opportunity to prove their mettle!

Image source: BCCI social media handles

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