Alyssa Healy hopes for women’s IPL announcement after expansion of men's event
Shafali Verma and Alyssa Healy for Sydney Sixers © Sydney Sixers
Australia opener Alyssa Healy has called for a full-fledged Women's Indian Premier League after the bid for two new franchises in the men's event were bid for a combined Rs 12,715 crores earlier this week.
After the pandemic struck in 2020, the Women's T20 Challenge exhibition tournament was postponed to November from May. The four-match competition was clashing with the Women's Big Bash League. As a result, the Australian players, including Healy, could not participate.
In 2021, the men's IPL had to end abruptly due to a breach in the bio-bubble. The BCCI postponed it along with the women's exhibition tournament, which was scheduled to be played in May.
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While the remainder of the men's IPL resumed in September in the UAE, the Women's T20 Challenge did not happen as the Indian team was touring Australia for a bilateral series.
According to a report by The Australian, Healy said that she had expressed her thoughts on the postponement of the tournament in the past. “From a personal perspective, it was disappointing they postponed the women’s exhibition games."
She was dissatisfied with the lack of news regarding the T20 Challenge while the men's IPL resumed and was followed up with an announcement regarding two new teams adding to an already 8-team edition.
"They did everything they possibly could to put the back end of the IPL on leading into a World Cup. Then, within a week of that starting, they have two new men’s IPL teams. They have made all those moves. There is still no word on whether they are even going to play the postponed exhibition games."
“They just got a $2 billion (approx $1.7 billion) payday. Hopefully, some of that will go back into women’s cricket. Maybe, a women’s IPL in the near future."
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“We want to see it happen. We want to see world cricket really strong, and that is the next step. For India to put on a showcase of an event, and show the world how good these young Indian players are.”
Earlier, the Indian stars Harmanpreet Kaur, Punam Raut and Jemimah Rodrigues have expressed their desire to play in an expanded women's IPL. However, former BCCI administrator Saba Karim had said that the board is trying to build a strong domestic structure before starting a WIPL.
Currently playing for Sydney Sixers in the ongoing WBBL, Healy is thrilled to have eight Indians participating in the tournament. Kaur, Rodrigues and Richa Ghosh are among the top run-getters in the competition so far. Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav, Deepti Sharma, and Poonam Yadav had their moments, but they are yet to perform consistently.
“Hopefully, it might start the conversation back in India about the women’s IPL,” she said. “I know they would be really excited to see more of those exhibition games. A women’s IPL would be ideal. But just to showcase the talent they have got, I would just love to see them get as much opportunity as possible.”