The House View – the Women’s IPL is ready to change cricket again
March 8, 2023
It is here, the Women’s Indian Premier League(WPL) has arrived.
We have been waiting a while but this truly is a moment that could change women’s cricket forever, and could have a significant knock-on impact on women’s sport in general.
The five franchise teams will occupy centre stage in world cricket over 22 days, with the final scheduled for March 26.
Domestic women’s T20 tournaments have started to grow in the last few years, with the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia and The Hundred in England all bringing together a collection of some of the finest women’s talent to play against each other. But, as with all things that involve India in cricket, the sums of money are slightly different with the WPL.
The five franchises were sold for a combined £465 million, that is more than the men’s franchises were worth before the first Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. The players, in a first for the women’s game, will receive life-changing sums of money. India’s hard-hitting star Smriti Mandhana fetched £340,000 while Australian Ash Gardner and England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt both went for £320,000.Unlike transfer fees in football, the players receive this money directly.
Unsurprisingly, the draw of such sums attracted the attention of a lot of players: 1,523 applied to be involved in the tournament, eventually 90 were selected, with just 30 from outside India.
Sky Sports picked up the broadcast rights for the next three years in the UK. Who can blame them for getting on board the WPL train early? If it does half as well as the IPL then it will make great viewing.
The IPL changed men’s cricket in the same way the creation of the Premier League transformed football in the UK… The WPL has the same potential.
At international level, the women’s game is currently dominated by Australia. They are relentless winners and have to be in the conversation for one of the greatest sports teams of all time in any sport. I am serious, they have won 13 out of the 20 international women’s tournaments they have entered. Since they failed to reach the final of the one-day World Cup Final in 2017, they have won 43 out of their 45 matches. In T20s, where ‘luck’ can have more of an impact on the result, they’ve been only slightly less dominant – losing nine of their past 73 games.
Will the WPL eventually bring to an end to this remarkable run of dominance? Or will it bring the true talent that there is in the women’s game to millions more eyeballs and inspire girls all over the world that cricket is the game for them?
I think it has the chance to do both and I am looking forward to seeing how it develops .
By Alex Brinton, Content Manager for iSportConnect
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