After a solitary exhibition match during the previous edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has increased the number of women’s matches in this season of the tournament. The squads for this years’ teams have been announced, with matches commencing from May 6, in Jaipur.
Last year, the two teams who played off were the Supernovas, captained by Harmanpreet Kaur and the Trailblazers, led by Smriti Mandhana. This year, team Velocity has been added, with Mithali Raj named skipper. The three teams will face-off in a single round-robin, with the top two teams clashing in the final.
Each team has four internationals in their squad, alongside national and local stars. These matches will feature international superstars from across the globe, ranging from Bangladesh to the West Indies. Bangladeshi seamer Jahanara Alam will appear in such a T20 for the first time when she dons Velocity’s colours, having never played in an overseas T20 league before, as will West Indies’ Shakera Selman when she represents the Trailblazers.
The likes of Kiwi teenage leg-spin sensation Amelia Kerr and English all-rounder Natalie Sciver will be playing in these exhibition matches for the first time, while Lea Tahuhu and Danielle Wyatt participated in the inaugural one. Suzie Bates is also set to represent the Trailblazers again, having earned the Player of the Match honours against the Supernovas last time around in a tightly contested match.
Of the 12 internationals, four are White Ferns, three British and as many West Indians, while there is one player each from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. There is a noticeable lack of Australian players, who have been most vocal in their support of a women’s IPL. Also absent are South African players who will be playing against Pakistan in ODIs in the same time period.
A total of four exhibition matches will be played. On May 6, the Trailblazers and Supernovas will kick-off the proceedings. May 8 will see Velocity play their first match against the Trailblazers, before squaring off against the Supernovas the following day. The final is scheduled to be played on May 11, between the top two teams.
Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Anuja Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Chamari Athapaththu*, Jemimah Rodrigues, Lea Tahuhu*, Mansi Joshi, Natalie Sciver*, Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Radha Yadav, Sophie Devine*, Taniya Bhatia (wk)
Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (c), Bharti Fulmali, Dayalan Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Harleen Deol, Jasia Akhtar, Jhulan Goswami, R. Kalpana (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Suzie Bates*, Sophie Ecclestone*, Shakira Selman*, Stafanie Taylor*
Velocity: Mithali Raj (c), Amelia Kerr*, Danielle Wyatt*, Devika Vaidya, Ekta Bisht, Hayley Matthews*, Jahanara Alam*, Komal Zhanzad, Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey, Sushma Verma (wk), Sushri Dibyadarshini, Veda Krishnamurthy
* Overseas Players