The calls for a full-fledged WIPL have intensified over the past few years [Image- IPLT20].
Indian women’s T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur believes the experience of playing high-quality games in the Women’s IPL will help young cricketers get better prepared for the pressures of top-level cricket.
It was a so-close-yet-so-far affair for Team India in the second T20I as Tahlia McGrath’s calm-and-composed unbeaten 33-ball 42 took Australia past the finish line after the hosts were reduced to 71/5 and 94/6 during their run-chase of 119.
Kaur attributed McGrath’s composure despite being relatively new to the international arena, to her experience of playing with and against the best cricketers in the world in the Women’s Big Bash League.
Speaking after India’s defeat in the 2nd T20I, Harmanpreet Kaur said:
“If you look at the way McGrath batted today, we can see the confidence they are getting from a tournament like WBBL. They are ready to play international cricket. She has not played much in international cricket but got to play many matches before playing for Australia.”
Citing the example of young Renuka Singh, who gave away a couple of game-changing boundaries in the penultimate over, Kaur said that players like the fast bowler have done well at the domestic level but since they don’t get an opportunity to play high-quality cricket like the Australians, they find it difficult to cope with the pressure that international cricket brings.
“We do have a few young players who haven’t played much cricket at the highest level like Renuka Thakur. She has done really well in domestic (cricket) but still doesn’t have that much experience. If we had WIPL, the domestic players would get a lot of chances to prove themselves under pressure.”
In the last two years, the BCCI has organized a mini Women’s IPL consisting of three teams which took place during a window between men’s IPL group-stage and playoffs fixtures. However, with the Indian women’s team doing well in the international circuit, calls for a full-fledged WIPL have intensified manyfold.
“Young players just miss this experience” – Harmanpreet Kaur on the absence of a tournament like the WBBL in India
The men’s version of the IPL has provided a great platform for young uncapped Indian players to rub shoulders with and test themselves against the best in the business.
Referring to the same, Kaur said:
‘’Even when we see a young talent play, we can see the maturity (in the display). They would have played at least 40-50 IPL games by then.”
The middle-order batter signed off by stating that playing in the WIPL will help Indian women bridge the gap between the Indian side and the best teams’ in the world like Australia and England. Kaur explained:
“I think that is the only reason we are lagging right now. Before getting to play in international, if we get a chance to play in a domestic tournament like IPL, we will definitely improve. Here (Australia), they get 20-30 matches in WBBL before getting to international cricket. It will develop your skills and give you experience (so that) you don’t feel lost in international cricket.”
The visitors have lost the multi-format series 9-5 but they still have a chance to square the T20I series. The final T20I will be played at Carrara Oval on Sunday (October 10).