Mumbai: Indian women’s cricket is about to kickstart a new chapter with the Women’s T20 Challenge match between Trailblazers and Supernovas here on Tuesday in a bid to introduce women’s IPL.
While Smriti Mandhana will captain Trailblazers, the Supernovas will be led by the current T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
Both the cricketers were looking forward to a new chapter in women’s cricket in India. The skippers of the respective sides spoke ahead of the match.
“This is the first ever match we will be playing with foreigners on the Indian soil. Everyone are excited to this historical moment,” said Smriti.
The left-handed batswoman said that it would be ideal to start a women’s IPL with four or five teams instead of eight, if all goes to plan.
“Well, we cannot have eight teams, but we can ideally have five teams to start with, definitely not eight teams, not right now,” she said.
She also stressed on the importance of building a bench strength in Indian cricket.
“I think, to start with four to five teams is a good initiative. Through IPL, it is easier to develop the bench strength. I think ,if the girls are able to play with both foreign cricketers and us, they will learn much more quicker,” she continued.
Harmanpreet, too, echoed similar views.
I do think India have enough players for a five-team women’s IPL. A lot of Indian women are representing the country currently,” she said.
When asked about the match starting under the scorching heat at 2.30 pm, Harmanpreet was hopeful that supporters would turn up in large numbers.
“I am hopeful that cricket-lovers will definitely come and support us.
I don’t think the time of the day or other conditions will matter for cricket fans who will come to watch,” she said on an optimistic note.
The match, which will be dress rehearsal for a women’s IPL tournament to be planned, will be held on Tuesday afternoon. Following this match, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first Qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the same venue.