Jemimah Rodrigues: Full fledged women’s IPL will help unearth new talent

Australia and England have franchise-based T20 tournaments for women and Jemimah Rodrigues believes the game will improve in India if there’s a women's IPL.

Jemimah Rodrigues believes a full-fledged women’s Indian Premier League can make a difference by unearthing talent such as Shafali Verma.   -  Getty Images

Indian cricketing star Jemimah Rodrigues believes a full-fledged women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) can make a difference by unearthing talent such as Shafali Verma. She also feels this would help the national team do well at the global level.

Countries such as Australia and England have organised franchised-based T20 tournaments for women in the recent past. Meanwhile, Rodrigues claims the game will develop in India if a similar league is conducted in the country - namely a women's IPL.

“If you see, the Big Bash and the Kia Super League have developed the game out there so much for Australia, England and now even New Zealand has started to do better. That’s (IPL) definitely going to develop the game and it’s also going to give new talent,” the 19-year-old said on ICC’s ‘100% Cricket’ show.

She cited the example of Shafali, 16, who shone at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup with her explosive batting, as one of the finds of the mini-tournament for women which is being conducted during the IPL playoffs in the last two seasons.

“We came to know about Shafali Verma through the T20 Challenge, she did so well there. We knew she could do well in the domestic circuit. But playing against international players and being that fearless person is something different. We can get many more talents rising up playing such matches,” she added.

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Rodrigues believes a women's IPL will also bolster the Indian team’s bench strength. “Definitely it is going to develop the game so much and also give a lot of bench strength to India,” she said.

The BCCI, despite hosting women’s exhibition matches in 2018 and 2019, has said a full-fledged tournament will take some time to take shape.

The Board had decided to organise a four-team women’s T20 challenge to run parallel to the men’s IPL play-offs this edition, with a total of seven matches to be played in 2020.

Acknowledging the BCCI’s efforts to expand the women’s IPL, Rodrigues said the tournament was a great learning experience for the Indian players because they got the opportunity to rub shoulders with veterans of the game.

“Playing matches in front of a huge crowd is a different experience. That’s going to help us play well in international cricket. And above all, the experience we are going to get sharing the dressing room with Sophie Devine, Meg Lanning is huge. We will get to learn so much. It will be great to have a women’s IPL, the BCCI are on it, and hopefully soon we will be having a proper women’s IPL."

She also backed the idea of increasing the maximum number of overs for bowlers in a match.

“It makes a lot of difference you can go in with five bowlers in the side relying on the fact that one of them will get an extra over. If anyone fails you can add up even to your batting order. I think it makes a lot of difference, especially at crucial moments . When a bowler can win the match for you there is nothing like it. I believe bowlers win matches for us,” Rodrigues told.

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