It's time for a Women’s IPL, says Mithali Raj

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It's time for a Women’s IPL, says Mithali Raj

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SportsCafe Desk


Highlighting Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur’s brilliant development from Australia's Women’s Big Bash League, skipper Mithali Raj has called for a Women’s T20 league in India soon. The skipper believes the team's blistering performances have opened up channels for women’s cricket in India.

This was the first time since India’s badminton star PV Sindhi’s brilliant run to the finale in the 2016 Rio Olympics that the whole nation came together for a women’s sporting event. Indian Women’s cricket team had a brilliant run at the biggest tournament of the game, and although they couldn’t win the final it did make some of them household names in India.

Skipper Mithali Raj believes that inexperience in handling pressure situations was the main reason her side crumbling against England, despite narrowing it down to very gettable 28 runs from 44 balls with seven wickets in hand. The 32-year-old skipper had a novice side at her disposal, and she did brilliantly to guide them to the final against all odds.

However, nothing substitutes experience and the skipper stated that such a situation was less likely to happen if India had a tournament like Australia's Twenty20 Women's Big Bash League or England's equivalent Super League.

Raj said, “The WBBL has given exposure to the two girls who have played (Smriti Mandhana and Kaur). If more girls participate in such leagues, it will give them experience and help them to improve their own game. If you ask me, they should have (women's) IPL because now is the right time to create that base."

And this tournament could just be the start of something special. India got to see some scintillating displays from the girls coming up through the ranks and adapting to the varying conditions under pressure.

Raj added, “These girls have really set the platform for the upcoming generations in India. They’ve opened up the channels for women’s cricket and they should be really proud of themselves. I have seen the changes the girls have made.”

The performance has caught the attention of the administrative board nonetheless and they have shown intent in their support. Compared to England’s full-time professionals, India’s upcoming players have received bonus payments of 50 lakh Indian rupees (£60,000) each, for reaching the final from the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

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