New beginning for TN’s women cricketers

In a first, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is organising a 15-day league-based tournament for women cricketers.

Former India fast bowler, Lakshmipathy Balaji and former India women’s team player and erstwhile India coach, Sudha Shah are hopeful that the league will be a success. Photo: Team Sportstar

Talented cricketers from the state will be seen in action when the Indian Bank Trophy - Women’s One-day and T20 tournament gets underway in the city from June 15.

In a first, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) is organising a 15-day league-based tournament for women cricketers.

Six Teams

The tournament will have six teams - Yellow Challengers, Red Rangers, White Warriors, Blue Avengers, Green Invaders and Silver Strikers - playing 50 over games and T20s. Each squad will have players from U-16, U-19, U-23, senior team and the districts.

“We had a draft in the lines of Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), where the selectors and the cricket committee members zeroed in on the players and put them in teams,” TNCA joint secretary, R. I. Palani, said, adding that each of the teams will have 17 players in its squad.

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The tournament will be played across four venues - Gandhinagar, University Union, CPT-IP (Mat) and St. Patricks. The final is likely to be hosted at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium on June 30.

The winners and runners-up trophies were unveiled at the TNCA Club on Friday, in the presence of former India fast bowler, Lakshmipathy Balaji, and former India women’s team player and erstwhile India coach, Sudha Shah.

'Big Exposure for Women Cricketers'

“This is the starting point for women cricketers and it is a big exposure for them all,” Balaji said, hoping that the women cricketers will be able to make the most of it.

“It is a good thing that such tournaments are happening and hopefully, it will encourage more cricketers to take up the sport,” Shah said.

The former India international, who is also the coach of the Green Invaders, added that five ounce balls will be used for the tournaments - something that's not used in men's cricket.

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Having the backing of corporate firms like Indian Bank, TNCA officials are hopeful of the league’s success. R. Manimaran, General Manager of Indian Bank, also assured the organisers that the partnership will be long lasting.

With India internationals like Thirush Kamini, Nagarajan Niranjana and Hemalatha featuring in the tournament, the first-of-its kind league in Tamil Nadu is set to mark a beginning for women’s cricket in the state.