Who will select the three women’s team for the T20 Challenge, a series of exhibition games to be held in November during the IPL Playoff week?
By announcing the tournament, the Indian cricket board might have answered the criticism of ignoring women’s cricket but they don’t have a selection committee in place. The previous five-member panel’s tenure ended in January this year and the board had sought applications soon after that but the posts are yet to be filled.
The BCCI had asked for candidates with experience of playing for India and who have retired at least five years ago to apply for the post. With Covid-19 pandemic the BCCI didn’t conduct any interviews for women’s selection committee. However, in March this year, the Cricket Advisory Committee headed by Madan Lal, RP Singh and Sulakshana Naik had filled the vacancies in men’s selection committee.
The previous women’s selection committee, led by Hemlata Kala (chairperson), Shashi Gupta, Anjali Pendharkar, Lopamudra Banerjee and Sudha Shah used to pick a 25-member probables list which can in theory be used for the three exhibition games. Out of those 25, 22 were named in the Board’s annual contracts. The rest were picked based on performances in domestic cricket. Last year, the selectors had picked Jammu and Kashmir’s Jasia Akthar for women’s T20 game in Mumbai based on her performance in Challengers Trophy.
The Indian Express understands that the BCCI wants an international home series in India this October and is in talks with Cricket South Africa board.
Indian players unlikely for WBBL
With the Women T20 Challenger tournament to be held in November, the Indian players like Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandana and Veda Krishnamurthy will not be granted No Objection Certificate from the BCCI for the Women’s Big Bash League.
As per procedure, Cricket Australia sent an invite to BCCI asking them to send their players to play in WBBL. Once the board approves, these players are handed over contracts by Cricket Australia. With WBBL clashing with women exhibition games organised by the BCCI, the board won’t allow its top players to take part in the league.