Cricket / ipl news
Women's games during IPL 2019: what's the best way forward?
Annesha Ghosh Facebook Twitter Facebook Messenger he BCCI has plans to host a series of women's matches during the upcoming IPL season, as opposed to the one-off game played in 2018. As the BCCI firms up its plans, ESPNcricinfo spoke with some of the leading names in the women's game for pointers on what the best format might be, how the games should be promoted, and much else.How many teams should be in action? Jhulan Goswami (India ODI player): There are enough domestic players for four or five teams because in the Elite Group itself [in the inter-state domestic tournaments], every team has three-four good players. And four-five teams will also let you include more domestic players because at the end of the day, the objective is to strengthen Indian women's cricket at the grass-roots level, right? To include more girls to take up cricket professionally. So unless there's a big motivation ahead of them, I don't see them taking that route. Why not check with the IPL franchises if they are willing to start a women's team of their own. If four teams are willing, we should be starting a women's IPL with four teams, and involve the best foreign players and our local and international Indian cricketers. Lisa Sthalekar (Former Australia captain, broadcaster): If they are going to keep it to two teams, then I'll play a series of three-to-five matches and make the squad as big as you want, and expose the young Indian domestic players to international stars. The aim should be to align it with the IPL franchises somehow, and you've got to make the franchises buy into it, so the stadiums have the same colour, same vibe. One of the reasons why BBL-WBBL have been successful is because whatever you see on TV is what you see on the ground. The dressing up of the game is the same, and that's great from a fan-engagement point of view because there's nothing different between how the two leagues are carried out. Tushar Arothe (Former India women head coach): I am okay with having two quality teams or even three because I think there are good spinners and wicketkeepers in the domestic circuit to start off with three teams, but not enough for a full-fledged six- or eight-team league. I would love to see more Smritis, Harmans, Jhulans and Mithalis in the Indian team, and that can happen when you have more girls playing cricket, for which these exhibition games are going to be very important. Mel Jones (Former Australia player, broadcaster): The first year, if it has to take place in the heat of the day in Mumbai with the IPL going on, getting that kind of traction may not be easy. Having a couple of teams can help focus on what can really help the women's game grow. Or, if you have three teams, and split the current Indian squad into three sides and have some of the next-best young guns and probably a couple more senior players outside of the squad as well.