THE WOMEN’S T20 challenge might not have provided the kind of “exhibition” that the BCCI was looking for in terms of an in-stadia audience for them to seriously consider a women’s IPL in the future. But they haven’t given up on the idea yet and the Indian board is learnt to be mulling a mini-IPL of sorts for next year with 3-4 teams expected to be involved.
Unlike Tuesday’s match, which was played at the Wankhede Stadium on the same day as the first IPL qualifier, the women’s matches will instead be held at smaller venues with the hope of attracting bigger crowds. The board is said to be keen on there being some continuity with regards to the promotion of women’s cricket in the country. They are, however, looking at seeing how the women’s game develops in an IPL format over the next three years before actually deciding to introduce a women’s IPL. Vinod Rai, the CoA chief, had already spoken about there being a possibility to commence the tournament in three years’ time.
“It’s important to have continuity. The exhibition game was just a start. We agree to the fact that we could have planned it better which we will do from next season. There were various reasons for the stadium being near-empty but we are hopeful that slowly the popularity will increase. That is why we are now mulling a 3-4 team women’s league from next year in smaller centres. Smaller cities like Baroda, have seen a great turnout for women’s games generally,” a BCCI official informed.
The biggest issue for the delay faced by the women’s IPL being is there not being enough players at the moment to form a necessary pool. The board is also expected to begin identifying a set of players who’ll be good enough to play the shortest format at an IPL level.
Bowling coach for women
The BCCI is also going to invite applications for various posts including that of a bowling coach for the Indian women’s senior team. They will also be looking for coaches for the National Cricket Academy in the coming week. Apart from coaches, the board will also be inviting applications for the posts of HR manager, cricket operations manager and other posts at the NCA in Bengaluru. The womens team at the moment has Tushar Arothe as coach and Bijju George as their fielding coach.
Meanwhile, the contracts of two coaches at the NCA,WV Raman (batting coach) and Narendra Hirwani (bowling coach) have come to an end. But since they’ve already been part of the system, they will not have to apply if they are willing to continue, like it was in the case of Anil Kumble.