Stars such as Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana feel the women’s IPL could help newcomers in making a seamless transition from domestic to international cricket.
The inaugural women’s IPL is set to be held in March and some of the country’s top players, from national team captain Harmanpreet to senior opener Mandhana, are looking forward to the event that will also see participation from overseas stars.
Speaking on Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’, Harmanpreet said, “The IPL will be a great platform for players that are really good, but you know for them, international cricket is still something that they cannot change their approach and mind-set overnight.
DEALING WITH PRESSURE
“But in the IPL, when they get a chance to play against overseas players, it will give them a platform, they can play well, they can understand what is international cricket.
“So, when they are playing for the Indian team, they will not face any extra pressure, because right now, the players that are selected from the domestic teams, sometimes I can see that they are blank, they are not able to understand how to change their game plan.
“To cut that gap, the tournament will play a major role. So, in the coming years, with the girls who play in the IPL, we will definitely see some major changes in their performances.”
EYEING INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS
The Women in Blue have made a lot of progress in the past year, but have not been able to win championships. The team made it to the semi-finals of the ODI World Cup, beat Sri Lanka in a T20I and ODI bilateral series, won a Commonwealth Games silver medal and bagged a historic 3-0 win in England.
They also won the Asia Cup for a record seventh time.
Talking further about the IPL, Harmanpreet said, “The IPL is a huge step forward for women’s cricket, because before this, we have witnessed the Australia board, England board, they have looked after the WBBL and The Hundred.
“We have discussed that there’s a big gap between domestic and international cricket, because even if you play well in domestic cricket and then suddenly play international games, you’re not able to understand what to do and how to do it.”
Mandhana compared the women’s IPL with leagues such as The Hundred and the WBBL and spoke about how they have helped their domestic players.
“All of women’s cricket, I won’t say the Indian team or the domestic set-up. We keep talking about how it will increase the bench strength.
“But actually, the fact is that it’s going to help the domestic girls massively because that sort of experience in playing in leagues like this will get a lot of things sorted for women’s cricket,” Mandhana said.
“Grassroot wise and we have seen how the Big Bash and The Hundred have helped Australia and England respectively in their domestic set-up as well as other things.
“So, I’m actually really happy, the Indian team will benefit a lot from the women’s IPL, but it’s also going to benefit a lot of domestic girls which I’m looking forward to.”
Batter Jemimah Rodrigues said the women’s IPL would take the game to the next level in India.
“The women’s IPL is going to change a lot of things for women’s cricket in India. I think this is like the best platform for us now that we as an Indian team have been doing so well in all the major events like the World Cup, the Commonwealth.
“This is just the right time for it to happen and I’m sure that we are going to get so much more talent that’s going to come out from here. I am very sure that women’s cricket in India is all set to go to the next level after the women’s IPL,” Rodrigues said.