Women’s Premier League hailed as ‘game-changing’ for women’s cricket

Published March 28, 2023
Mumbai Indians’ players celebrate after winning the (WPL) Women’s Premier League on March 26 at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. — Reuters
Mumbai Indians’ players celebrate after winning the (WPL) Women’s Premier League on March 26 at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. — Reuters

NEW DELHI: Indian cricket administrators and pundits on Monday hailed the Women’s Premier League as a huge success after the inaugural tournament ended in fireworks with the Mumbai Indians winning the trophy in front of a huge crowd.

Franchise and media rights for the women’s version of the Indian Premier League sold for around $700 million, making it the second-most lucrative domestic women’s sports competition after US professional basketball.

Mumbai beat the Delhi Capitals by seven wickets in a thrilling final on Sunday to conclude the three-week Twenty20 extravaganza of the newest addition to women’s cricket.

England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt hit the winning runs to trigger wild celebrations at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium, which was nearly full to its capacity of 20,000.

“It was like a festival for women’s cricket which the ent­ire world was celebrating. The atmosphere at the stadium was at par if not better than any big tournament final,” IPL chairman Arun Dhumal told AFP.

“The way the tournament was conducted, the response to the matches, it went off as one of the best women’s cricket tournaments, even if you compare with the recently held World Cup.

Dhumal, former treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), called the competition “game-changing” for the women’s game in the cricket-obsessed country of 1.4 billion.

“It will pave the way for many young girls (in India) to make a career in the sport,” he said.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2023

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