BCCI: Women’s Twenty20 league ‘not immediately practicable’

The Board admits there are hurdles to organising a tournament for women along the lines of the Indian Premier League.

There would be difficulty in securing a pool of players meeting international standards, says BCCI.   -  Getty Images

A few competitions for women cricketers are in the offing. To sustain interest in the game and attract more youngsters and sponsors following the success of the Indian team at the ICC Women’s World Cup, the Board is contemplating various steps to give a boost to women’s cricket.

According to a top Board official, “A tournament on the lines of the Indian Premier League (IPL) may not be immediately practicable. The Board welcomes the idea but there are many hurdles and the biggest involves having a pool of players who would meet international standards.”

The demand for a women’s IPL has grown for some time and gained momentum after the recent showing in England. As the Board official pointed, there is not a large pool of players available to raise a minimum of four players.

“You would need at least 60 players of which 15 could be drafted from overseas. Where are the players? Honestly, how many players do we have like Mithali, Harmanpreet (Kaur), Smriti (Mandhana), Veda (Krishnamurthy) and Jhulan (Goswami). The truth is we would need players who can be termed crowd pullers,” the official added.

‘Not physically strong’

There are not many powerful hitters of the ball. There are not many quality all-rounders. The IPL, a former player observed, was a lot about agility, flexibility, speed and power. “Our girls are physically not that strong. They are very skilful no doubt. It won’t be a bad idea to bring in the boundaries for women’s cricket,” the player noted.

The Board would also not like to hurry into a venture which does not guarantee success. “It would be a huge embarrassment if the tournament does not take off. It would be a setback for the image of women’s cricket too. It would also be embarrassing if the spectator response is poor. Let’s not hurry into such a venture and repent later if it fails,” the official made his point.

As for now, the Board is planning to form a committee that would include the current captain, coach, some former players, to suggest ways of adding a couple of events to the women cricket’s annual calendar. “Our priority is to get more and more girls to play cricket. Do a talent scout by having open trials. Have more contracted players to ensure financial security,” the official noted.

The Committee of Administrators has assured all help and financial support to women’s cricket.