Women cricketers excited ahead of historic IPL exhibition match
Mumbai: Stage is set for a historical IPL exhibition match between Trailblazers led by Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur’s Supernovas at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday and players believe it would be a stepping stone to the launch of a women’s T20 league in the country.
Leading women players like Kiwi Suzie Bates, Aussies Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt and England’s Danielle Wyatt will be part of the game which will take place before the Qualifier 1 between CSK and SRH.
“It is very exciting for all of us to be playing this exhibition match and thankful to BCCI for organising such a unique match and it is a stepping show to the IPL. And hopefully, we will put up a good show and audience and BCCI people will think of having an IPL,” Mandhana told reporters.
“Everyone wants to put up a good show and bring women’s cricket to the world. This is the first-ever match we will be playing with foreign players on Indian soil. Everyone is excited to part of this historical moment. We all are looking forward to putting up a good show so that we can express ourselves in front of audience and BCCI that IPL will be good to watch also.”
Mandhana believes that a women’s IPL can take place with four teams but admits that there aren’t enough players for an eight-team tournament.
“Well we cannot have eight teams, but we can have an IPL of 4-5 teams to start with, definitely not eight teams, not right now.
“Four to five teams, to start with is a good initiative, because when men’s IPL started, first two seasons only foreigners scored and later on we started developing our bench-strength, you never know that same can happen with women’s cricket.
“Through IPL it’s easier to develop the bench-strength. The girls will be playing with all the foreign players along with us and they will learn much quicker and the bench strength will be quicker…,” explained Mandhana.
Similarly, dashing batter Harmanpreet Kaur feels that the players were waiting for this kind of a match since a long time.
“We are very excited and were waiting for a long time when we could play an IPL like tournament. We are happy that we have got an opportunity tomorrow and hopefully we will get a good match tomorrow.”