The former Australian cricketer, Lisa Sthalekar, feels that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is slow in the process of arranging a full-fledged Women’s IPL. Although, she believes they are moving in the right direction.
Three women’s cricket teams, Supernovas, Trailblazers, and Velocity, have just played in the Women’s T20 Challenge in the United Arab Emirates. These three teams have a number of the top Indian women players and some of the overseas stars. However, a full-fledged IPL edition still is a distant dream for the women cricketers.
The absence of a sizeable talent pool has regularly been an argument given by the doubters behind not having full-fledged Women’s IPL. Lisa Sthalekar went on to cite the case of WBBL, expressing that Cricket Australia had confronted a similar scenario when they introduced the Rebel Big Bash. The RBB is in its sixth season now. She further mentioned that as the tournament has advanced, the nation has seen an increasing number of young women take up this wonderful game.
The former Australian all-rounder further mentioned that simply like the Aussies, India can overpower women’s cricket once they devote heavily to the T20 league. Sthalekar added that she has heard the argument in India that women cricketers just don’t have the depth, but the women cricketers didn’t think they had the depth either. Perhaps the teams in WBBL were a little bit fragile when they began playing. However, more and more young girls are picking up the bat and ball now. And now the cricket enthusiasts are seeing quality women’s cricket teams.
Lisa Sthalekar mentioned her concerns about Indian women’s cricket
“I think they (BCCI) are moving in the right direction; but slow in planning a women’s IPL and provide enough match practice. The reason why Australian women’s cricket is going well is because we have invested in it. Australia are the leaders in creating WBBL, which is in its sixth year. I still remember in the first year, we had only six state teams. But we went ahead and were extended by two teams.” said Lisa Sthalekar during Australian Broadcast Corporations’ Women in News and Sports program funded by Australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade (DFAT).
Lisa Sthalekar additionally communicated her anxiety about the uncertainty of Indian women cricket post the Covid-19 pandemic. Except for the previously mentioned three Women’s T20 Challenge series, the Women in Blue haven’t played any competitive cricket since the T20 World Cup last February.
“I know the pandemic and what the situation is in India. But the fact that Indian contracted players don’t know when they are playing next is a massive concern. They are going to fall behind. I feel they are the biggest untapped talent market. If they get it right, then Indian women’s cricket will dominate,” she added.