The BCCI is all set to organise Women’s T20 exhibition matches during the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019).
According to the ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI is going to repeat their action by arranging Women’s T20 exhibition matches during the IPL. Along with Indian players, overseas players will be featured too in the games.
During the last year’s IPL, the BCCI had conducted one Women’s T20 exhibition match at the Wankhede Stadium on May 22 in Mumbai, but this year the board has decided that they will conduct more than one matches during that period.
— InsideSport (@InsideSportIND) February 8, 2019
The planning of starting these exhibition matches during the IPL has been going for a couple of months now. Though, a full-fledged league is not possible in India now as they don’t have depth in the domestic pool of players. However, Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and Kia Super League (KSL) are pretty much popular in Australia and England respectively. Eight teams participate in WBBL while six teams play in KSL. India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and Veda Krishnamurthy have been featured in these leagues already along with other overseas players.
Last year in Mumbai, two teams had played in the exhibition match – the IPL Supernovas and the IPL Trailblazers. Both the team comprised of overseas players along with Indian players. The match was an experiment of starting an IPL style Women’s T20 league in India.
The match was a nail-biting one as the game went to the last ball and the match was televised by the board’s host broadcaster, Star Sports. Though there were not much crowd at the venue, because the game had started at 2 pm and it was on a weekday. Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were the captains of the Supernovas and the Trailblazers respectively. Harmanpreet’s Supernovas registered the victory by three wickets.
New Zealand’s former captain Suzie Bates won the ‘Player of the Match’ award for her all-round performance, despite being on the losing side. The match also featured other celebrated overseas players including Australia captain Meg Lanning, all-rounder Ellyse Perry and the wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy, England’s Danielle Wyatt and Danielle Hazell, and New Zealand all-rounder Sophie Devine and Lea Tahuhu.
The board, however, has decided to arrange a couple of matches this year as a follow-up to last year’s exhibition match. It is understood that this year there might be two teams too and the two teams will play a three-match series. However, it is expected that the teams might be composed of a maximum of four overseas players per side, similar to the men’s IPL.
BCCI is still waiting for the IPL schedule to be finalised as the date for the General Elections in India is yet to be announced. However, a proper plan is yet to be chalk out, though, both the BCCI and the Committee of Administrators (CoA) have approved the idea. It is expected that after the IPL schedule is out, the BCCI will plan accordingly.