Women’s IPL will help young players prepare better for international cricket: Harmanpreet Kaur

Harmanpreet Kaur in action for Supernovas. © Getty Images

India T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has said that having a Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL) tournament will help the players in the domestic circuit prepare for the pressure of playing in international cricket.

Speaking after the close defeat in the second T20I against Australia, Kaur said that the reason for the Australian team doing really well was that they get (to play) good cricket throughout the season, referring to the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL).

India came close to defending 118 against Australia, but Tahlia McGrath, playing her first T20I innings, held her nerve, taking the team across the line and sealing the multi-format series.

“If you look at the way McGrath batted today, we can see the confidence they are getting from a tournament like WBBL. They are ready to play international cricket,” Kaur said on Saturday (October 9). “She has not played much in international cricket but got to play many matches before playing for Australia.

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“We do have a few young players who haven’t played much cricket at the highest level like Renuka Thakur. She has done really well in the domestic (cricket) but still doesn’t have that much experience. If we had WIPL, the domestic players would get a lot of chances to prove themselves under pressure.”

Kaur referred to the men’s IPL, saying that they get to play and do well in the IPL before coming to international cricket. “Even when we see a young talent play, we can see the maturity (in the display). They would have played at least 40-50 IPL games by then.”

“I think that is the only reason we are lagging right now. Before getting to play in international, if we get a chance to play in a domestic tournament like IPL, we will definitely improve.”

Kaur said that eight Indian players playing in the upcoming WBBL ahead of the Cricket World Cup 2022 would be a massive advantage, adding that having a tournament like WBBL (WIPL in India) would help them with the transition to international cricket.

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“Here (Australia), they get 20-30 matches in WBBL before getting to international cricket. It will develop your skills and give you experience (so that) you don’t feel lost in international cricket. Young players just miss this experience (of playing in a tournament like WBBL).”

Kaur added that they do not lack talent or approach but the experience of playing in a good domestic tournament that prepares them for international cricket. “Playing 30-40 games before coming to international cricket will be very great for upcoming players,” she concluded.

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