More disappointed about missing the tournament, says Alyssa Healy of WIPL-WBBL clash

More disappointed about missing the tournament, says Alyssa Healy of WIPL-WBBL clash
Australia wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy was one of the first players to express her displeasure regarding the scheduling of India's Women's T20 Challenge which will clash with the Women's Big Bash League in Australia this year. The Women's T20 Challenge will be held in the United Arab Emirates between November 1 and 10 during the IPL knockouts. Meanwhile, the WBBL is scheduled from October 17 to November 29.

Following the announcement, Healy engaged in a slightly heated conversation with cricket historian Boria Majumdar about the scheduling of the tournament, saying these T20 leagues shouldn't be competing for space in the calendar.

In a conversation with Sportstar, the 30-year-old explained the reasons behind her disappointment saying it would be a shame for the Indians to miss out on playing in Australia's competition and vice-versa. She said she hopes that this clash is just a one-off - caused by the pandemic - and that boards could work together in the future to create space the calendar for each competition.

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"I think it’s fantastic that the BCCI are really keen to get a fully-fledged WIPL underway at some point and this is another step forward to making that happen. I’m disappointed that those girls won’t be able to take part in the WBBL. However, it’s such a great competition, and having the best players from around the world as a part of it creates such great competition for all involved, and we’ve seen the benefits of that in the international game," Healy said.

"With the pandemic playing its part in the scheduling for this year, I hope it’s a one-off, as there is no reason that the elite domestic competitions need to compete with each other as we want them all to flourish."

Healy, who played in the inaugural Women's T20 Challenge match, as part of the Trailblazers team led by Smriti Mandhana, said she enjoyed her first experience and was keen to be part of it again. Having missed the matches in 2019 as well - since the tournament clashed with an Australian training camp - Healy said much of her frustration was about missing the competition.

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"I think that’s where most of my disappointment of the timing stems from. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience a few years ago and can see the importance of growing the women’s game in India. I’m sure all of the international players around the globe would be sticking their hands up to be involved if selected and would be keen to be a part of something special."

With Australia scheduled to return to the field towards the end of September for a series against New Zealand before the WBBL kicks off in October, Healy said she is excited at the prospect of playing cricket again. Australia had to cancel their tour to South Africa earlier this year and haven't played a competitive match since the T20 World Cup final this year.

"It’ll be great to be back on the field playing again, that’s for sure! The real buzz that the T20 World Cup created earlier this year was unbelievable, so hopefully we can pick up that momentum again and see the women’s game back on the TV."

"It’s been great to see all the sports here in Australia being able to adapt to the ever-changing nature of this pandemic. Sport is really the lifeblood of this country. So for us to be able to watch and play sport again is a real boost to morale. I know Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers Association’ are working really hard to ensure that players and the communities hosting games will be protected as they try and get games underway. There are bigger factors at play here with Covid-19 and we have to make sure that we are looking after the community and ourselves."