Sourav Ganguly says a Women’s Indian Premier League is at least four years away

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The president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India- Sourav Ganguly, has stressed that the country still needs ‘a lot more women players’ if it is to launch a female version of their flagship competition The Indian Premier League.

Women’s cricket has continued to attract more fans, more players and more opportunities in recent months. Cricket Australia have re-vamped the women’s format of their own T20 league The Big Bash, with every match available to stream online and 23 games broadcast on free-to-air channels.  

The ECB is set to launch their new format The 100 in July 2020, with each franchise consisting of a men’s and women’s team. So why is it, that the world’s biggest cricketing nation, are yet to follow suit?

The Indian Premier League is currently the most widely-watched, widely-attended and widely commercialised cricket competition in existence, and a number of currents and former Indian internationals have urged for a fully-fledged women’s version of the tournament.

Ganguly however, told India Today that the public ‘need to understand the practicality of it.’ He believes between 150 and 160 players are necessary to create a seven-team league consisting of the world’s best players, but currently, there are only 50-60. Both the Women’s Big Bash League and The 100 will consist largely of players originating from the host country, but Ganguly says the state association teams in India must get stronger first, something he cannot see happening for at least four years.

Judging by the success of this year’s Women’s Big Bash, which saw the final between Brisbane Heat and the Adelaide Strikers attract a sell-out crowd of almost 5000 people at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane, India is no-doubt losing out commercially by refusing to act sooner. In four years time, many of the current international superstars could well have retired, and there is no guarantee that the standard of Indian domestic cricket will improve to the level Ganguly considers adequate.

The time is now for Women’s cricket, and India should act sooner rather than later.

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