'BBL was a good preparation for the World T20'

Ahead of their World T20 warm-up fixtures in Chennai, skippers Meg Lanning (Australia), Stefanie Taylor (West Indies) and Mignon du Preez (South Africa) spoke about their preparation, the BBL, their interaction with the men’s team and Test cricket, among other things.

Stefanie Taylor (left), Meg Lanning (centre) and Mignon du Preez were confident ahead of the Women's World Twenty20.   -  K. Pichumani

Australian women’s cricket captain Meg Lanning on Friday said that playing in the women’s Big Bash League (BBL) has helped the teams prepare well for the ICC World Twenty20 in India.

Ahead of their World Twenty20 warm-up fixtures in Chennai, skippers Lanning, Stefanie Taylor (West Indies), and Mignon du Preez (South Africa) spoke about their preparation, the BBL, their interaction with the men’s team and Test cricket, among other things.

“I thought the tournament was great. It allowed younger players to come through and get experienced in T20 cricket and also international players to head to Australia and become involved in such a great tournament. It’s a very good preparation for the World Cup,” said Lanning about the women’s BBL.

Russel, Sammy offer me insights: Taylor

The BBL, considered Australia’s equivalent of the Indian Premier League (IPL), has had a considerable following in men’s cricket over the last five years. The tournament for women debuted last year. And, the skippers felt it was a good experience to be a part of it. Indian players, however, did not participate in the tournament.

“Being part of the Big Bash for the first time is something special. Most of the teams had a few players who played in the BBL. So, they can use that experience here in this World Cup,” said South African skipper du Preez.

Stefanie Taylor, who was among the top-10 run-getters in the tournament, said: “Playing with good, talented cricketers is a great help before coming into the World Cup.”

Asked if they interacted with their male counterparts, the trio had varied responses. While Lanning and du Preez said that they don’t find many opportunities to interact with them, West Indies skipper Taylor said: “I always talk to Andre Russell and Darren Sammy. We are very good friends. Most of the time, they give me insights and wish me and the team.”

Would like more Test matches: Lanning

Despite agreeing that T20 cricket is a good way to market women’s cricket, the three skippers wished they played more Test matches. “Test matches are something that we really enjoy playing. Hopefully we get some opportunity to play some more,” said Lanning.

Australia and England have shared the four titles between them but the skippers, especially Lanning, believed that this will be their “tightest World Cup”.

“This is going to be the tightest World Cup that we’ve ever had. There are so many great teams. If you see the last couple of years, everybody is beating each other, which is fantastic. Hopefully, this tournament has some great contests,” said Lanning.