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Women's T20 challenge could pave the way for a full-fledged IPL

Mon, 21st, May 2018 |
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It's been ten years since the inception of Indian Premier League and it has gone on to become one of the best T20 tournaments in the world. Following the increasing popularity of women's cricket over the last couple of years, the BCCI has considered to host an exhibition match featuring top international women players. #Itshergametoo after all!

The Women's T20 Challenge match, featuring international players from both India and across the world, will be a curtain raiser for the VIVO IPL 2018 Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 22. 

Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, India Women's T20 captain, will lead the two teams, to be named IPL Trailblazers and IPL Supernovas respectively. The encounter is set to be televised throughout India and across the world, giving a major fillip to women's cricket.

The women's game has rapidly grown in popularity in India since the national team's appearance in last year's 2017 Women's World Cup final at Lord's.The exhibition game could be a stepping stone towards a full-fledged women's IPL a few years down the line and as and should that happen, it would change the women's game overnight. The tournament could follow in the footsteps of Australia's Women's Big Bash League, which was introduced in 2015-16, and England's Super League, launched in 2016.

Diana Edulji, a former cricketer herself and a member of the Committee of Administrators (CoA) said the exhibition match was 'a small but significant step towards a women's league' and serves as a possible dry-run for a proposed women's league on par with the IPL.

The match will feature 26 players including 10 international stars from Australia, England and New Zealand.

While IPL Trailblazers boasts of players like Jhulan Goswami and Australia's Alyssa Healy, the IPL Supernovas have in their ranks India's ODI captain Mithali Raj and Australian skipper Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry.

With the Qualifier 1 scheduled to start at 7pm IST, the Women's T20 Challenge match is scheduled to start at 2pm IST.

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