Collaboration with cricket boards key for growth: ICC GM
Unlike men’s cricket – where the progression towards T20 leagues happened gradually – here it is all happening simultaneously in the women’s game.
Published: 02nd February 2023 11:10 AM | Last Updated: 02nd February 2023 03:36 PM | A+A A-
CHENNAI: With all the buzz around the inaugural Women’s Premier League — India’s latest franchise-based T20 tournament set to take place in March and the BCCI has already made 5620.99 crores from the auction of the teams and the media rights.
In a year where the ICC has two global women’s events, the recently concluded U19 World Cup and the senior T20 World Cup, it only adds value to Women’s cricket as a standalone market product. ICC General Manager - Cricket Wasim Khan feels so as well.
“I think it’s only a good thing,” said Wasim in the ICC U19 and Senior Women’s T20 WC media roundtable on Wednesday. “I think that we’ve made our ambitions clear over the last 12 to 18 months, in particular around the growth of women’s cricket... I think what we’ve seen in recent events in India is that India will continue to lead the way with regards to a lot of initiatives around women’s cricket.”
He said that the values for which the teams were bought only reiterate the value of women’s cricket and how potential investors see it. “I know that, particularly around Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and Pakistan and places like that, there’s still a lot of development required in terms of really valuing women’s cricket, but certainly, it’s a lot better than what it was 12 to 18 months ago.
So, I think, we very much want to happen in India as a catalyst to try and really drive the game to even greater levels. And I think that combination of ourselves working with the cricket boards, we certainly believe that in five years’ time, the landscape is gonna (going to) look very, very different,” he added.
With the WPL getting underway, it only adds to the list of already existing leagues like the WBBL, The Hundred, the CPL, and the Fairbreak Tournament.
Unlike men’s cricket – where the progression towards T20 leagues happened gradually – here it is all happening simultaneously in the women’s game. When asked if this would lead to a schedule cramp sooner than expected, Wasim is optimistic that it would not. “One of the good things about the global cricket family is that we do talk to each other, and I think that it doesn’t serve any purpose to cram lots of tournaments in one space.
If it’s possible, we want there to be some parity in the calendar to allow everybody to have a very successful tournament. With the women’s game, we remain sort of in the embryonic stage in terms of local domestic T20 tournaments being set up. We’ve had two or three established ones, as you mentioned, but the more we can encourage this to happen and the better.” said Wasim.
“I think that the FTP for the women's game in particular from 2022-25 is not as congested as it is for the men's. There's a lot more cricket being played during that period of time and particularly more Test cricket in the men's game, but certainly, there are more windows for these tournaments to come up. We have very clear criteria to be ticked off in order to gain a sanction for domestic tournaments. We are there to support and encourage, and because we know that the more women's tournaments that are set up and played, the more it's going to expand and develop the women's game. So we're trying to encourage that as much as possible.”