Women's T20 Challenge, WBBL need separate windows for growth, feels Lydia Greenway
Former England cricketer-turned-commentator Lydia Greenway feels clash of dates between the Women’s T20 Challenge and Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) is not good for the growth of the women’s game. On Sunday (August 2), the BCCI announced that the Women’s T20 Challenge will take place in the UAE during the men’s play-offs in the first week of November. WBBL is set to be played from October 17 to November 29.
“One of the things that the women’s game has been screaming out for is a Women’s IPL. The only unfortunate thing is that it clashes with the Women’s Big Bash,” Greenway was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “It’s good news on the one hand. It’s something that we have been wanting for a long time and I think women’s cricket in India needs to be strong at domestic level for it to have success in the international arena.”
“But the fact that those two competitions will possibly be competing against each other will, I think, stunt the growth of the game a little bit at domestic level in terms of the Indian domestic players playing against the genuine best players in the world.”
Greenway, who played 225 internationals for England, hopes the situation will be different and potential date clashes will be avoided in the future when things return to normal post the COVID-19 pandemic. “I just hope that (clash of dates) is because of this current situation (with coronavirus), which is fine enough, and not because they want to compete against each other because I don’t think that would be successful,” Greenway said.
34-year-old Greenway believes WBBL is the premier T20 franchise league at the moment. She also stated that Indians playing in the WBBL and Australian players making an appearance in India’s franchise competition will be important in the future. “The Big Bash is a brilliant blueprint for how to run a women’s franchise competition,” she said.
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“I think all of India’s top players will be the key players in the Big Bash. They will be the players that people want to come and watch. That’s the same for the Australian players. For the IPL to succeed we need all of those players in that competition.”
Australia wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy, took to Twitter to express her disappointment about the clash of dates while former England skipper Charlotte Edwards also called for a separate window for the women’s IPL, WBBL as well as the Hundred.
“I don’t think that women’s players always voice their opinions as often as they might. I was pleased to see that from Healy. I think it’s brilliant from someone of her stature in the game. I wasn’t surprised, she always had a bit to say behind the stumps. That’s her character,” Greenway added.
“The one thing that the women’s game hasn’t got at the moment is loads of pop-up competitions. Australia and England – and now India – have got their competitions, so surely you would like to think that there is a bit of space in the calendar for them to work through that.”