The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed to Cricket South Africa’s proposal to play three double-header T20Is, that will feature both the men’s and women’s team early next year. The men’s team are set to tour South Africa in January 2018, and women also would head there for a bilateral series.
This double-header series will help women’s team gain more exposure and publicity, and the matches will be telecasted LIVE on SONY TEN Network. Harmanpreet Kaur and Virat Kohli will lead India on the same day; the women will play in the afternoon, followed by the men in the evening at the same ground.
This is not the first time that such an initiative has taken place. In 2015, the BCCI had kept three double-headers against Australia where both women and men won their respective matches as well. Even the 2016 T-20 World Cup, was in the same double-header format; where the women played in the afternoon, followed by the men in the evening. The BCCI is planning to have similar series for the women’s team in the future too.
In a meeting held a few weeks ago, senior player Jhulan Goswami and the skipper Mithali Raj, decided the way forward for women’s cricket in the country. Apart from more domestic games, the women’s team wanted more overseas fixtures and bilateral series’, with foreign teams at home. One of the suggestions was to have an India A women’s team, which will help them to gain experience, and the BCCI seems to have agreed upon that. However, their demand of women’s IPL, now, doesn’t look likely to materialize soon.
Double-headers have been catching on in the recent times a lot. “To have men and women playing on the same pitch, shown on the same TV channel, with the same commentary team, is part of this normalising process that we’re all trying to speed up as quickly as we can,” Clare Connor, ECB’s director of women’s cricket, said earlier this year. Hopefully, this decision will help women’s cricket to grow, and develop.