The BCCI announced on Tuesday that a Women’s T20 challenge match will be played ahead of the first IPL qualifier at the Wankhede Stadium on 22 May.
India internationals Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the two sides which will include women stars Ellyse Perry (Australia), Suzie Bates (New Zealand) and Danni Wyatt (England). Other leading women are also set to be included as well as 20 women from India who will be picked by a national committee.
The game will be televised live.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said: ‘Even as IPL continues to roll like a well-oiled machine, over the last couple of weeks, efforts were made to put in place a similar structure for women cricketers. We were in talks with several boards and I am pleased with the outcome. White Ferns captain Suzie Bates, attacking batter Sophie Devine, who holds the record for fastest half-century in women’s T20Is, Australia’s fine all-rounder Ellyse Perry, wicket-keeper bat Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Beth Mooney have confirmed their participation. Danni Wyatt and Daniel Hazell will add the English flavour.’
BCCI administrator and former India women’s captain Diana Edulji said: ‘We are excited to announce the first-of-its-kind exhibition match involving our women cricketers. BCCI has been pulling out all stops to promote and nurture women’s cricket and this is a small yet significant step towards a prospective league involving women’s stars in the future.
‘The IPL is the biggest and most popular league in the world and it has been a long-time endeavour to have a women’s league that can match the exuberance of IPL. Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Veda Krishnamurthy among others rubbing shoulders with foreign stars will be a unique experience and something that we have not witnessed here in India.’
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