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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja on Thursday announced the launch of a women’s T20 league and it couldn’t have come at a better time. With the increasing popularity of league cricket around the world, it was high time the Pakistan women’s cricket team got their share. Raja has always been an advocate of promoting cricket for girls and he’s finally delivered what he promised when he took the chairmanship. Here’s what’s in store for Pakistan’s women’s T20 league.
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Women’s T20 League: Where and When
The inaugural version of the women’s T20 league will be played alongside the men’s Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) eighth edition in February-March 2023. The competition will comprise of four times, each containing 18 players including six foreign players.
The maiden event won’t be a very long one and will feature only 12 games. Unlike PSL 8, which is set to be held in different cities in Pakistan, this tournament will be played in just Rawalpindi. The final will be played on 18th March 2023, a day before the men’s super league final. Recently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that a female edition of the IPL will happen in March 2023. The two events can clash but no dates have been announced so far by BCCI.
A stepping stone towards the betterment
This league will definitely be a stepping stone for the better of women’s cricket in Pakistan. The female version of the sport has been in the shadows for many years now. There have been talks of improving the conditions but they never gained the form of any plan or idea and things have remained just under discussion.
Pakistan’s own franchise version of cricket for women will not only push the national team towards more and more progress, the dearth of which has been going on for a while, but also attract more girls towards this particular sport. The national women’s cricket team has returned with disappointing figures from many of the previous tournaments, much of which can be attributed to very few cricket opportunities for the girls.
In Ramiz Raja’s words, “This league will attract young women cricketers to this great sport and help our current players further enhance their skills when they will get to share dug-outs with the overseas players,”
When Raja took seat, the PCB went through a major overhaul. The salaries of all domestic and national players were increased and many good changes were made to the contracts. In the early days, he had announced his plans of introducing a PSL-like tournament for the women’s cricketers and he delivered his promise by the name of women’s T20 league. According to the chairman, the more they will play under pressure, the more they will learn
“This event is aligned to our strategy of making Pakistan a stronger cricket-playing nation across all formats and genders. We are not only creating attractive brands to strengthen our cricket economy but through this tournament are also providing career opportunities to our women cricketers. The more our women cricketers will participate in high-pressure events, the more they will learn.”
Why is franchise cricket so important for women cricketers?
The positive impact of franchise cricket has lately become very evident. The Pakistan men’s cricket team seemed like a whole brand new team after just a few sessions of PSL. The Sri Lanka men’s cricket team has become explosive and they have had just two sessions of the Lanka Premier League.
Not only this, the entire cricketing world knows what beasts the Australia and England women’s teams are, all thanks to a structured franchise system such as the women’s BBL and The Hundred respectively. With a few versions of the women’s T20 league, there is absolutely no doubt that the girls in green will come out as a stronger and more challenging team. Not only this, but Pakistan will have a pool of female cricketers ready to take on the cricketing world.