Mithali Raj    Getty Images
Mithali Raj Getty Images

Mumbai: Mithali Raj today said an IPL-like event for women will make sense only when the BCCI has in place for them a “strong domestic” setup. “It’s important to have the pool of players, who will be qualified to play IPL kind of a league. As I mentioned (in) India A (team) itself we need quality players. Once we have those many players then it will be wise enough to have an IPL,” Mithali, skipper of India’s women’s Test team, said.

The Cricket Board is organising exhibition matches for women during the upcoming Indian Premier League’s 11th season. With people starting to look up to the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, Mithali and Jhulan Goswami, the BCCI decided to organise these exhibition matches, which can also lay the groundwork for women’s IPL.

Mithali said, “You can feed in any domestic (players) but then there will be a stark difference between an international player and domestic player. It might go against promoting women’s cricket. So, I personally believe that when you have strong domestic set-up and churning quality players then giving them an opportunity in IPL makes sense,” she said.

Veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami, who was sitting alongside Mithali, agreed with her Test captain. “That is absolutely right, the domestic set up needs to be a little more stronger,” quipped Jhulan. Meanwhile, India will be a part of the T2O series involving Australia and England, which begins on Thursday in Mumbai and Mithali said before the World T20, the team needs to get its combinations right.

“The team is now preparing for the T20 World Cup this year and it’s important that before the World Cup we need to have combinations right. And for that if we have to have few changes in the squad, irrespective of whether the result goes our way or not, it is important because we see the bigger picture preparing for the World Cup,” Mithali said.

She said both Australia and England are tough and there are players who have played in the Women’s Big Bash League. Quizzed how would the team address the issue of power-hitting, Mithali said that it needs to pick players and give them specific role. “That’s what Australia has been doing since the past couple of years, they have picked up players and they know what they need to do, we need to do the same. We have power hitters — Harmapreet Kaur, Veda Krishnamurthy.

“You have seen Pooja (Vastrakar), she has that ability and we need to give her more abilities to groom into a good all-rounder,” she added. Meanwhile, Jhulun said she was disappointed that she was not a part of the T20 series in South Africa, but as a sportsperson things like injuries would happen.