New Delhi : Former Indian cricketer Diana Edulji during her time as member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) had given wings to the dreams of many women cricketers in the country by starting the Women's T20 Challenge in 2018.
And on Sunday, the Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council continued with her vision as they confirmed that four women's T20 games will be played during the playoffs in UAE this year.
Edulji thanked the Governing Council for continuing with her vision of the women's T20 matches on the sidelines of the IPL.
"I am thankful to the GC for continuing to promote women's cricket. I am happy that an effort I started during my time in the BCCI as a CoA member is being carried forward and hopefully we will see a women's IPL soon. Good luck to the women cricketers for the upcoming season," she said.
There were reports on Sunday morning that a women's IPL will be played this year. But a full-fledged T20 competition for the women cricketers will have to wait.
In fact, with the IPL GC announcing on Sunday evening that it will be the continuation of the 'three teams with four matches' format, some of the enthusiasts who had taken to social media to congratulate BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly on the initiative, wore a sad face. Some fans even made their displeasure known on social media.
But a BCCI functionary in the know of developments said that it was not at all a case of the BCCI chief trying to take credit and Ganguly only wanted to highlight that the process of having women matches on the sidelines of the IPL playoffs will continue.
"To be fair those were not Ganguly's words. So, it's unfair to say that he was seeking any credit or publicity. This is now a part of the regular IPL process for the last two-three years and is a part and parcel of the IPL. Why someone would try to package this as some new pathbreaking thing is completely beyond me. This comes within the jurisdiction of the IPL Governing Council and Ganguly isn't a part of that and only attends as an invitee with no vote," the functionary said.
The Women's T20 Challenge was started in 2018 with IPL Trailblazers taking on IPL Supernovas in a one-off game. The 2019 edition saw the addition of another team in IPL Velocity and it was the start of a tournament. This year too, it will be these three teams who will be fighting it out for the crown.
[ This was first published in IANS ]