India-England women's T20Is rescheduled for 11am start

The three Twenty20 Internationals were previously scheduled to start at 10am.

India and England's captain, Mithali Raj and Heather Knight shake hands before the start of the ODI series.   -  PRASHANT NAKWE

As India and England women’s cricket teams gear up for the three-match T20I series at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to schedule the games to start at 11am after initially being scheduled for a 10am start.

“Since it is a T20 series, both the teams requested us to reschedule the matches from 10am to 11am, and we agreed. That’s the reason behind the change in timings,” Syed Saba Karim, BCCI General Manager, Cricket Operations, told Sportstar.

Even as India’s women’s team clinched the series 2-1 on Thursday, most of the stands at the Wankhede Stadium here remained empty. And for the ODI series, the BCCI had announced no entry fee and had put up banners around the Wankhede complex, welcoming the fans. But even then, most of those who gathered for the three games were the friends and family members of the players.

Before the ODI series got underway, England captain, Heather Knight, too was surprised to see the games starting at 9am, instead of 10am.

But with the revised timings for the T20Is, Karim expects a bigger turnout in Guwahati. “We are expecting more people to come and watch the game. Women’s cricket is growing and we need to be patient. It needs to set in with the mindset of the cricket-viewing public. So, it will take some time. But I am sure, with the improved performance of the Indian team, we will have supporters coming in,” Karim said.

Following in the footsteps of the Wankhede, the Assam Cricket Association has also made entry free for the three-match T20I series and have invited school and college students to come and watch the game.

While the teams reached Guwahati on Friday, England has added Alex Hartley to its squad.