09 March 2020

Former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar calls for investment in a women's IPL following T20 World Cup

Former Indian men's cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar has called for the introduction of a women's Indian Premier League to capitalise on the success of the T20 Women's World Cup in Australia.

Gavaskar, a former captain of India's men's side, was speaking to India Today following the women's defeat at the hands of Australia in the final on Sunday.

And the 70-year-old claimed that introducing a women's IPL is the only way India's women can emerge as world beaters and continue to compete with the likes of the Aussies.

He said: "To Sourav Ganguly and the BCCI, I would say is, look at, obviously this year is not going to be possible, but next year, having a women's IPL because that will earn lot more talent."

Gavaskar was full of praise for Harmanpreet Kaur's team, adding: "This Indian women's team has done us proud and we are very proud of your performance.

"Never mind the result in the finals. You still have made us hold our heads up."

The legendary Test batsman admitted he has been calling for a women's IPL since 2017 having looked at the impact the men's has had on the Indian T20 side.

He said: "I've been asking for a women's IPL for the last couple of years ever since I saw the finals at Lord's 2017. That is where you actually saw that there is potential for a women's IPL."

Gavaskar also believes a women's competition does not need to start with the same format as the men's.

"It doesn't necessarily have to start with an eight-team IPL, it can start maybe with a five-team or four-team IPL or WIPL or whatever you might want to call it," he added.

"But I think if you start with that, there'll be more talent that will come to the fore, just like it has for the men's team.

"Today look at this Indian men's team. There are more [players] not from the metros. 

"They're more from what you would otherwise call the rural areas, the interiors of India, that is where all the talent is. 

"And that is where all the talent in women's cricket also could be."

In 2018, the BCCI made significant strides towards the growth of women's cricket when they introduced a one-off women's T20 challenge match during the IPL.

This then expanded to three teams who played across four matches coinciding with the IPL play-offs.

It was here that teenage sensation Shafali Verma, who shone throughout the T20 World Cup, was first able to showcase her talents.

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