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Australia or India? A clash of dates for women’s leagues

In July, as the chance of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) being shifted to the UAE was turning into clearer by the day, there was a rising clamour about women’s cricket getting the quick shrift. Former gamers spoke out about BCCI not even planning for a camp for girls cricketers with the women’s 50 over World Cup 6 months away.

That concern was addressed when BCCI introduced that the Women’s T20 Challenge, which has been taking place since 2018, will happen within the UAE alongside IPL, scheduled to be held from September 19 to November 10. The women’s event features three groups who play 4 matches. For women’s nationwide cricketers, for whom the last event was the T20 World Cup in February the place they made a exhilarating run to the ultimate, this was welcome news.

IPL 2020 Full protection

“I’m thrilled finally there is some light in the uncertainty and cricket is happening,” said Mithali Raj, who captains the ODI team. “I am happy that BCCI has not only announced Women’s T20 challenge but also one camp and two series. All this exposure will help the team prepare well for the 2021 World Cup.”

Yet, the dates of the women’s T20 Challenge clashes with what’s undoubtedly the largest cricket league for the women’s sport proper now, the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia, which runs from October 17 to November 29. The participant of the ultimate from the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup, Australia’s Alyssa Healy, criticised the transfer on Twitter. “So, the Indian players who’ve already signed wbbl contracts will do what? And all the international marquee players that will be in aus for wbbl? Good luck with it,” wrote.

New Zealand veteran Suzie Bates agreed. Bates tweeted: “What a huge shame for both the WBBL and WIPL competitions there is a clash.”

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In 2019, three gamers Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues had been on the radar of the WBBL groups however they didn’t play because the dates clashed with India’s tour of West Indies. This year too no Indian is more likely to play within the WBBL. “Two WBBL teams had sought no objection certificate from BCCI to sign Kaur as well as Mandhana for the upcoming season. It’s unlikely there will be any movement on that now, as the T20 Challenge dates are clashing with WBBL. Also, one has to bear in mind quarantine rules in Australia,” a BCCI official said. It was reliably learnt there was additionally curiosity amongst WBBL groups in roping in World Cup star Shafali Verma and all-rounder Deepti Sharma, however no formal offer has been made but. According to a cricket.com.au report from July, no Indian participant has a WBBL contract. The solely Asian to have a contract is Pakistan’s Nida Dar.

Foreign stars

The T20 Challenge began in 2018 with two groups and in 2019 was elevated to a few, and was held in May, which made it potential for gamers to play for each the Indian league and the WBBL in September-October. In 2019, 9 overseas gamers had been half of each the T20 Challenge and the WBBL, together with Healy and Bates. In 2019 there have been 10 outstation gamers who performed in each tournaments.

“The BCCI is slowly building towards a full-fledged women’s IPL. Therefore, it is important the process is not halted. Usually, the league would have taken place around April or May but because of pandemic we are having it at this time of the year,” said Raj, who last performed for India in November 2019 towards West Indies.

Former India captain Anjum Chopra said it’s solely honest that ladies will begin taking part in together with the lads’s groups. “The Indian women’s cricketers have not played a game since the T20 World Cup. Now, if they are getting a chance to play, we should welcome that. If suppose there would have been only the men’s IPL, would that have been fair?” Chopra said. “I understand Healy’s concern but these are not normal times. No cricket has been played by both the men’s and women’s teams for a long time.”

Sulakshana Naik, former India wicketkeeper, felt that not too many gamers will miss out as a result of of the clash of dates.

“You’re an Indian and you have to play all your Indian tournaments. This is more important. Maybe the 4-5 Australian players will miss it. They were not there last year also. It’s not going to make a lot of difference. Other foreign players will hopefully play this tournament,” Naik said. “It’s very important that all countries start playing. They have to find a new way, a new normal out of this situation and start moving on.”

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