Prominent cricket commentator and analyst Harsha Bhogle reckons that India is ready to have a fully-fledged women’s version of the IPL come 2021. According to Bhogle’s proposal, each of the eight franchises must have a women’s team, with a dedicated CEO in the BCCI to run the women’s wing.
The ICC Women’s World T20 final on International Women’s Day was a grand show, with as many as 85,000 people witnessing the spectacle at the MCG. The result went terribly for the Indian women’s team, but if anything, Australia’s second-straight triumph at the premier T20 showdown in the women’s game was a testament to one thing according to Bhogle.
“What struck me was where, in home conditions, Australia’s women have taken their game. I’ve no doubt that this athleticism, this multi-skilled approach has a great deal to do with the player base that has developed because of the Women’s Big Bash. I think India is ready for a Women’s IPL — the earlier we get things going the better. If we don’t see a fully-fledged IPL in 2021, I will be very disappointed,” Bhogle said on Cricbuzz’s Voice of Cricket.
A long-time advocate for the women’s IPL, Bhogle has an outline of the implementation process as well. While timing and available venues are among the challenges to be met by the board, the more obvious problem of a lack of Indian players can be solved by the eight franchises themselves.
“What I am proposing is a 32-game tournament, where each team plays each other once, with six international players and five Indians in an XI for the first two years. Down the line, this ratio can change, as the franchises then become the scouting arm for Indian women’s cricket as they have done for the men’s game. The tournament can be played during late February and March as a precursor to the men’s version,” Bhogle added.
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