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Monday, November 23, 2020

Explained: Why aren’t there Aussies in the Women’s T20 Challenge?

Womens T20 Challenge: A total of 12 foreign players from England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, New Zealand, and Thailand are playing in this tournament.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty , Edited by Explained Desk | Kolkata | November 3, 2020 4:33:49 pm
Harmanpreet Kaur leads the Supernovas. Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj are the captains of Trailblazers and Velocity respectively. Image: Screenshot/video/Indian Cricket Team Facebook page

The BCCI Women’s T20 Challenge will be played in Sharjah from November 4 to November 9.

What is the Women’s T20 Challenge?

The BCCI has been organising the Women’s T20 Challenge since 2018, alongside the Indian Premier League (IPL). Top women cricketers from India and around the world take part in the tournament.

The Women’s T20 Challenge has three teams — Supernovas, Trailblazers, and Velocity. This year, the tournament will have four matches — including the final — on November 9. It gets under way with last year’s champions Supernovas facing the team they beat in the final — Velocity.

How many players will feature in this edition?

Teams have 15 players each, including four overseas participants. Harmanpreet Kaur leads the Supernovas. Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj are captains of the Trailblazers and Velocity respectively.

How many foreign players are participating this year?

A total of 12 foreign players from England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Thailand are playing this term.

Supernovas have South Africa’s Ayabonga Khaka, Sri Lankan women’s team captain Chamari Atapattu and her compatriot Shashikala Siriwardene, and West Indies’ Shakera Selman. Khaka is one of the first two South African players, along with Suné Luus, in the Women’s T20 Challenge. The 28-year-old medium pacer is a veteran of 60 ODIs and 29 T20Is, bagging 72 and 28 scalps respectively.

Trailblazers have the No. 1 bowler in women’s T20 cricket, England’s Sophie Ecclestone. They have explosive Caribbean batter Deandra Dottin and Bangladesh off-spinner Salma Khatun, along with Thailand’s Natthakan Chantham.

Velocity have English opener Danielle Wyatt, South African all-rounder Suné Luus, New Zealand offie Leigh Kasperek and Bangladesh seamer Jahanara Alam. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram

Who is Natthakan Chantham?

The 24-year-old is the Women’s T20 Challenge’s first Thai player. In 38 T20Is, she has 706 runs. She scored her country’s first Women’s T20 World Cup half-century – 56 against Pakistan – in Australia earlier this year.

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OK, but why are the Australian players missing?

The BCCI’s Women’s T20 Challenge clashes with the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, which is why star Australian players like Meg Lanning, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy are missing.

Also, New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr, West Indies’ Hayley Matthews and England’s Natalie Sciver are plying their trade in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) at the moment. On August 2, Healy had posted a sarcastic tweet: “So during the WBBL…. cool”. A day later, she had elaborated on that, posting: “Selfish?! If you actually read the thread it’s about players – including the Indian players with WBBL contracts who’ve been wanting to play it…… also includes every other international player who’d love to support the Women’s IPL but can’t because they’re contracted to WBBL”.

The WBBL is being played from October 25 to November 29 and this has resulted in at least three Indian players – Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues – missing out on their WBBL contracts. According to sources, they were supposed to be part of this year’s Women’s Big Bash League.

How does the match fee for the Women’s T20 Challenge compare with what Indians have previously earned in WBBL?

The BCCI pays Rs 1 lakh per match to every player who features in the final XI, according to an Indian cricket board official. Reserve players get Rs 50,000 each per game, the official added. The WBBL figures for 2018-19, when Indians last featured Down Under, were starting from Rs 25 lac over a minimum of 14 matches.

And what is the Indian women cricketers’ next assignment?

According to BCCI sources, the Indian women’s team could have a limited-over series in Sri Lanka. The dates, though, haven’t been finalised yet. The team was scheduled to tour England in July-August, but that series couldn’t take place because of the pandemic.

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