Imagining a world where Women's IPL exists minus the men's series!

Dev Tyagi

| May 29, 2022 1:02 PM

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Select any of the following options to make your choice be heard:


  • Women's IPL must happen earlier than expected

  • Women's IPL should, at least, happen in 2023 without much delay

  • Women's IPL should not be held in conjunction with the men's IPL

  • Women's IPL must be promoted as a standalone event 


Hey, wait! Don't be surprised. This isn't some quiz we are asking you to undertake. Rather, the ways in which a full-fledged Women's IPL has been consistently delayed and for some time now may have left fans feeling quizzed for real.


Actually, where it stands today, one's wishes about the Women's IPL may resemble any of the above options.


To date, no fewer than three editions of the Women's T20 challenge, a form of T20-exclusive contest for women, have taken place. 


There was none of it in 2021 given the COVID-riddled pandemic.


So, three separate series would definitely have meant innumerable T20 contests, right?


On the contrary, from the onset of 2018 until 2022, all that we saw in the Women's T20 challenge were no more than 9 matches (cumulatively speaking).


A routine IPL (for men) features 14 league games. The notable void in terms of a number of matches probably highlights the gap that women's cricket must take.


As a matter of fact, in 2018, there was a solitary T20 between the Supernovas and Trailblazers in the Women's T20 challenge, which pitted some of the finest names in the women's game against each other.


Yet, there are two ways of looking at this development.


First, it made no sense, whatsoever, to have flown some of the biggest names in the game- Mooney, Bates, Healy, Perry, Lanning, Wyatt- for a single or one-off T20 in India.


The other is that had that gesture not been made in the first place, how would one lay the stepping stone to what could, in 2023, be a reality: a first-of-its-kind Women's IPL?


The 2021-series was cancelled owing to COVID notwithstanding, it was somewhere a sigh of relief to see, at least, 4 games in each of the two Women's T20 Challenge editions that followed.


One each in 2020 and 2019.


But again, there've been a few loopholes in the way the series were structured that left us wanting more.


For starters, if you wish to let the Women's game function on its own, minus any crutches of support from the men's game, then you'd not ideally broadcast it in the midst of the IPL.


Which is what had been happening all this while.


And one needn't even say the 'Men's' IPL for even today, the IPL is a male-driven series, which is when much of the wider world has already made several strides forward. 


Think the WBBL. 


Second, if you run repeated ads about the hugely-anticipated men's IPL final whilst a proper Women's T20 challenge contest is on, which happened even during the Supernovas and Velocity finals, on May 28, how are you even promoting the idea that Women's T20 can function in isolation of the men's game?


So far, everything plausible to encourage the idea of a separate Women's IPL has happened.


Fans who don't discriminate between men's and women's games have wielded countless placards in Pune about their love to see a Women's IPL.


Lisa Sthalekar came to the broadcasting studio to remind us all about the need to hold a women's exclusive IPL.


Meanwhile, Kate Cross has professed much love for CSK, her favourite IPL outfit, probably one she'd represent come the eventual day.


Likewise, Wyatt made no bones about the fact she'd love to join RCB.


Active, world-class, far-from-retirement age women cricketers have done their fair bit to express profound love for the IPL, a series much of India can't imagine life without.


Yet, how can the BCCI imagine cricketing life without the Women's-only IPL that hasn't happened despite countless tweets, innumerable Facebook posts and several discerning pieces of journalism that have nothing to do with cricketing rubbish and clickbait?

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