Australia or India? A clash of dates for women’s leagues

Australia women’s cricket star Alyssa Healy has reacted in disbelief

as BCCI plans to host the Women’s T20 Challenge at the same time as the Women’s Big Bash League.

On Sunday BCCI president Saurav Ganguly announced the date of Women’s T20 Challenge, which will be held between November 1 and 10 in UAE alongside Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, which starts from September 19 in UAE.

The said date clashes with the schedule of Women’s Big Bash which is to be played from October 17 to November 29. 

While this decision of BCCI was welcomed by a number of Indian women cricketers including Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, many Australian women cricketers baffled over this decision.

Alyssa Haley, in a series of tweets, criticized the decision “So during the WBBL…. cool,” she said sarcastically “The IPL doesn’t need the marquee players. It’s already large. The women’s format however does. The WBBL and BBL don’t run simultaneously so why do the IPL and WIPL have to?” questioned Healy.

Australia or India? A clash of dates for women’s leagues
Australia or India? A clash of dates for women’s leagues

Accused of being “selfish” in her response, Healy said: “Selfish?! If you actually read the thread it’s about players – including the Indian players with WBBL contracts who’ve been wanting to play it … also includes every other international player who’d love to support the Women’s IPL but can’t because they’re contracted to WBBL.”

New Zealand star Suzie Bates, who was part of Women’s T20 Challenge in 2019, also responded: “What a huge shame for both the WBBL and WIPL competitions there is a clash.”

In contrast to these tweets, Indian women’s team captain Mithali Raj praised the BCCI decision and said it’s a good move to have Women’s T20 challenge alongside IPL, and it’s a great move towards the full-fledged women’s IPL.

“The Bucci is gradually building towards having a full-fledged women’s ipl in a few years with the franchise module. This is an app challenger of sorts (4 teams) At this juncture it’s important the building process is not halted thus it’s a good move to have it alongside the men’s, ” Mithali Raj said.

Fast bowler Jhulan Goswami also commented in support of BCCI’s move, saying: “I think as an Indian player and looking at the Indian women’s game the BCCI doing this is hugely welcome. We need this for every woman who plays the game in India. These are tough times. And unless our board supports us the game will suffer.”

Keeping in mind the Women’s World Cup in 2021, BCCI also planning a training camp for Indian women’s team ahead of the T20 challenge, Indian women are likely to have a full-fledged ODI series against South Africa and West Indies before the World Cup, which is scheduled from February 6 to March 7, 2021, in New Zealand.

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