With the impressive performance by the Indian Women’s Cricket team in the recently held world cup finals, several have begun to push forward suggestions for a female version of the famed Indian Premier League. The women played exceedingly well, losing out to hosts England by only a narrow margin of 9 runs. Captain Mithali Raj who led the team has stated that it is possibly the right time for a ladies version of the IPL to be launched.
Many, like Mithali, believe we must make hay while the sun is still shining and leap at this incredible opportunity. COO and Partner at CAA KWAN Indranil Das believes that they must ‘at least lay the groundwork to launch a women’s IPL.’ He says it would be unfair to compare the two as they are two distinct ideas. Supporters of the idea claim that even the men’s IPL required a lot of work wasn’t a success overnight. ‘Starting small and cautious’ is what they suggest to lessen the risks at the beginning. Recommended baby steps are the way to go according to them as the women’s team visibility is built.
While many have praised the team’s noteworthy performance and backed the demand for a women’s variant of the game, several others have rejected the proposal. They claim this isn’t the right time for a new format to be launched with the BCCI having its hands full already with a load of commitments. They still need to implement recommendations of the Lodha Committee and a demand like this couldn’t have come at a busier time. A lot of planning will go into such an idea, the time for which the board does not have to spare at this point.
There is also the vital point of the feasibility of a women’s IPL. Important questions need to be addressed first such as ‘will advertisers pay for a women’s version of IPL?’ and ‘will there be enough investors and franchise owners interested?’ There is also the issue of whether they will be able to sustain viewership at the stadiums as well as television.
Both sides seem to have certain valid points. And respecting opinions, we definitely hope to see a women’s IPL launched sometime in the near future if not immediately. It will not only give them the much-deserved publicity but will also be a launchpad for struggling cricketers trying to come up. It will help launch the careers of talented young women, as did the men’s IPL for the young men.