A couple days after her India colleague Smriti Mandhana vouched for a women's IPL, top-order batsman Jemimah Rodrigues has said that the tournament will bridge the gap between the domestic and international sides in the country. Rodrigues, who comes after scoring 241 runs in five innings, averaging 60.25 and striking at 154.48 at the Hundred, believes that the Indian domestic circuit in women's cricket has enough talent and it needs to be nurtured.
“Once they realise that OK, this is the standard, this is what I need to go out and do, they will want to work harder and work better. That’s very important in India because there is a lot of gap between the domestic and international sides in India. In every street in India, you see boys and girls playing cricket – there isn’t any shortage of future players! I think it’s high time we had an IPL," Jemimah Rodrigues told BBC.
Rodrigues, 20, added that with the success of the women's BBL in Australia, the Women's Cricket Super League (WCSL or KSL) and the women's Hundred in England, the women's IPL would add another dimension to the game.
“When we see the WBBL happening, then the KSL and now the Hundred, we are all like, when will we have our own IPL? It is going to make women’s cricket better. Imagine, the domestic girls here in England, the kind of experience they are having, sharing dressing rooms with international players. There is so much to learn,” she concluded.
Rodrigues represents Northern Superchargers in The Women's Hundred. She finished as their top scorer.
Indian women's cricketers have been participating in the Women's T20 Challenge since 2018. But the tournament is played only between three teams. Star India opener Smriti Mandhana believes that cricket in the country has enough depth for the introduction of a six-team women's IPL.
"There are same number of states for men and women. So, when they started men's IPL, there were same number of states. But the quality went higher and higher as the years passed by," Madhana said on Ravichandran Ashwin's YouTube channel.
"What IPL is today, it wasn't the same 10 or 11 years back. I think it's the same for women's cricket. We have same amount of girls playing cricket.
"For now, I think we will have good five or six teams to start with and probably grow to eight teams in one or two years. But till the time we don't start, we don't know. Five-six teams, we are good to go with. But eight teams, I am still not sure how it will look like. But I think we really need to start with five or six teams so that we can actually get to eight teams very soon."
"I think till we don't start, we are not giving exposure to our girls to turn their cricket into a really different level," she said.