Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana made a big push for an IPL for women saying that India has enough players to form four or five teams.
Harmanpreet will lead IPL Supernovas against Smriti’s IPL Trailblazers in the Women’s T20 Challenge, ahead of Qualifier 1, at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
The teams will have four foreign players each, drawn from Australia, New Zealand and England, in the eleven.
Harmanpreet and Smriti’s views differ from Mithali Raj, who had stated two months ago that India was not ready for an women’s IPL.
After Australia had thrashed Indian teams in limited-over matches, Mithali had said:“once we have enough players, it would be wise enough to think about it. There is a big difference between an international player and a domestic player. Presently, it (league) may go against promoting women’s cricket.’’
But, after a practice session at the Brabourne Stadium on Monday, Smriti, when told about Mithali’s observations, said: “Well, we cannot have eight teams right now, but yes, four or five teams.
“To start with it would be a good initiative because when the men’s IPL began (in 2008), only foreigners did well in the first two seasons.
“Later on, we started developing India’s bench strength. One never knows, the same can happen in women’s cricket. “I think it’s easier to develop the bench-strength through the IPL. India’s bench-strength will be able to play with us and the foreigners and learn much more quickly.”
India’s T20 captain Harmanpreet concurred saying “I do think we have enough players. 20 players have been active and representing India across the two formats. There is also the ‘A’ team.
“I think we have 30 to 35 girls. It has to be seen how we all respond tomorrow. “If it turns out to be good, then the BCCI can think of starting an IPL for women next year.’’