Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur opines that the Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) will help in bridging the gap between domestic and international cricket. The inaugural edition of the Women’s IPL 2023 has started to create buzz among cricket lovers with the tournament considered to be the next big thing for Indian women’s cricket.
The Women in Blue have made a lot of progress in the past year, by winning the Women’s Asia Cup 2022 for a record seventh time. India now faces Australia in a five-match T20I series that gets underway on December 9, 2022, in preparation for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘Follow the Blues’ during women’s Asia Cup 2022, Harmanpreet spoke about how the Women’s IPL will be a major boost for women’s cricket in India. She said, “The IPL is a huge step forward for women’s cricket because before this, we have witnessed the Australia Board, England Board. They have looked after the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and The Hundred. I think we as athletes have discussed it as well that there’s a big gap between domestic and international cricket which some cricketers were not able to match because even if you play well in domestic cricket and then suddenly play international games, you are not able to understand what to do and how to do it.” “And someone like me, I was lucky you know, I had Jhulan di, Anjum di who were guiding me as to what to do, how I can perform better. So, some players, they are shy, they cannot open up, so, for them it is difficult to play both domestic and international cricket. So, the IPL will be a great platform for players that are really good, but you know for them, international cricket is still something that they cannot change their approach and mindset overnight. But in the IPL, when they get a chance to play against overseas players, that will be something that will give them a platform, they can play well, they can understand what is international cricket.”
“So, when they are playing for the Indian team, they will not face any extra pressure, because right now, the players that are selected from the domestic teams, sometimes I can see that they are blank, they are not able to understand how to change their game plan. So, to cut that gap, the tournament will play a major role, and we are happy that after the World Cup, we will get some really good cricket. So, in the coming years, with the girls who play in the IPL, we will definitely see some major changes in their performances,” she made her point. Indian batter Jemimah Rodrigues also said that she is looking forward to the first-ever women’s IPL, which is happening at the right time and a lot of talent will come out of it.
“I am sure we are going to get so many different matches and at the same time, I am very sure that women’s cricket in India is all set to go to the next level after the Women’s IPL. So, we are really looking forward to it, very excited and cannot wait to go out there and play the women’s IPL,” she added. Opener Smriti Mandhana also spoke about Women’s IPL and compared it to ‘The Hundred’ and WBBL and its impact on their respective countries’ domestic cricket.
“All of the women’s cricket, I would say the Indian team or the domestic set-up. We keep talking about how it will increase the bench strength. But the fact is that it is going to help the domestic girls massively because that sort of experience in playing in leagues like this will get a lot of things sorted for women’s cricket,” she said. “Grass-root wise and we have seen how the Big Bash and The Hundred have helped Australia and England respectively in their domestic set-up as well as other things. So, I am actually really happy, the Indian team will benefit a lot from the Women’s IPL, but it is also going to benefit a lot of domestic girls which I am looking forward to,” he concluded.