Mithali Raj feels BBL has helped Indian players like Harmanpreet and Smriti at international level    Getty Images
Mithali Raj feels BBL has helped Indian players like Harmanpreet and Smriti at international level Getty Images

Following a disappointing defeat against England in the final of ICC Women s World Cup 2017, Mithali Raj expressed the need of a female equivalent of IPL in the post-final conference. Many have argued the necessity to have an IPL for women since a very long time. Vanitha VR, too, had stressed on the importance of a women s T20 league during her interview with CricketCountry. However, it looks like the wait is likely to continue as BCCI claim they do not have the required funds for the same. A BCCI official also mentioned the ongoing unrest within the cricket body, something that may make it difficult to have a T20 league at present. However, BCCI are set to support the Indian Eves with infrastructure and facilities for the growth of the game at the top and grass-root level.

The BCCI official told CricketNext: There is no denying the fact that the women cricketers have made us proud. They deserve all the accolades and definitely this is the time to promote the game in the country and help create a solid foundation for the women s game to go from strength to strength. But to think of a women s IPL would be a little far-fetched as it is not financially feasible at present. Also, the current unrest within the BCCI as the board is trying its best to implement the proposals of the Lodha panel at the earliest means that the women s IPL needs to wait at present.

The official added: There have been a few proposals in the past as well. Current treasurer Anirudh Chaudhary had in fact presented a similar model some time back and it is not like that the BCCI isn t looking at the possibility. But realistically, it is important to work on the grassroots level and improve the supply line of women cricketers to back the good work done by the likes of Mithali, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur among others.

Another official feels broadcasting could also cause issue citing the example of the defunct Champions League T20, If you realise, the league wasn t created overnight. It took two years of planning before it could be launched. Also, if you look at it, the idea of the IPL first came in the form of a 50-over league back in 1995. But then, it was too early and the format wasn t suited to having the league and the BCCI had to wait till 2008 to have the first edition of the IPL. These things take time and cannot happen overnight. To be fair, even the men s Ranji Trophy games fail to attract crowds, so the steps need to be taken carefully.

While Mithali feels Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana s BBL experiences played crucial roles during the World Cup, the other girls will have to wait to gain experience in the T20 leagues.