WIPL can improve domestic structure: Mithali Raj

Mithali revises her opinion and says the league will give exposure to youngsters

A women-IPL has been the burning topic of discussion among the women cricketers for a little over a year and it appeared the likes of Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana were divided on whether the BCCI should seriously think of scheduling a league with a number a overseas players thrown in.

Mithali was not in favour of a WIPL a year ago, but she has revised her opinion saying the WIPL will give exposure to youngsters.

On the eve of the second ODI against England, Raj cited the reasons for a change in her position with regard to the WIPL. “Before the ODI World Cup (in England) the players’ individual identity was not as big. During the World Cup, people started to understand what is Indian women’s cricket and who all play for the team. Now since a year or two, people have gone beyond knowing two or three players. They recognise other players in the squad and now is the right time to get in WIPL because T20 is also a format that ICC is looking to promote women’s cricket.”

Experience factor

Raj further said, “It’s important to have the WIPL and promote the league in our country in order to improve the domestic structure. A lot of young players like Harleen Deol will take some time (to improve) because the domestic structure doesn’t offer that much experience before coming into international arena. If you have leagues like this (WIPL), and when they make their debut, they are already experienced enough to absorb the pressure at the international level.”

Interestingly, a month or so after Mithali expressed her reservations about the WIPL in March 2018, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana said that India has 30/35 players to start the league!

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