Kolkata: Earlier Committee of Administrators member and former women’s cricketer Diana Edulji had said that she would put the forward the issue of the woman’s IPL to the BCCI and
after India’s heart-breaking loss to England in the World Cup final, skipper Mithali Raj too has called for a women’s equivalent of the IPL that would help the players get acquainted to playing in pressure situations more often, which would help them evolve as strong cricketers.
India were well on their way to a maiden World Cup title as at one point of time , they were sitting pretty at 191/3 but at the end, it was inexperience of the team that became the difference between both these sides as the Indians weren’t able to hold on to their nerve and thus fell short at the end by just nine runs.
Anya Shrubsole did the star turn for England as she got five wickets for just 11 runs in 19 balls that pushed the Indians on the backfoot and helped England gain control over the match.
Nonetheless, it was a brave fight shown by the Indians as they were greeted with appreciation from people across the globe. Punam Raut played a brave innings of 86, and Harmanpreet Kaur too continued with her good form with a fluent 51.
Skipper Mithali Raj however felt that her team was unable to cope up to the pressure that resulted in the loss and also said that such a thing is less likely to happen if the cricketers had an equivalent tournament like the Women’s Big Bash League.
Said Mithali, “I’m sure the BCCI is very proud of the team. When we lost to South Africa and Australia (in the league stage), no one thought we would get to the final. A team like that has come to the finals and given a good fight to the home team.
The WBBL has given exposure to the two girls who have played (Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet 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.”
However IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said that such a thing could be done but there has been no official discussion on it.
“However, there has been no official discussion on it. We just have statements coming in,” said Shukla, in an interaction with the Hindustan Times.
“But we need to discuss it first before taking any decision,” he added saying that this could possibly be discussed with the Committee of Administrators and in the Annual General Meeting of the BCCI in the future.
Speaking on the loss, Raj said, “We messed it up in the end. It was a very brave innings from Punam.”
She also felt that her team has set the platform for the upcoming generations and have made the entire nation proud of their performance.
“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. Unlike 2005 (when Australia hammered India by 98 runs in the final at Centurion, South Africa), this went to the end,” she added.