ICC hope to strike balance between WT20 leagues and international fixtures

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10 Jan 2023 | 02:13 PM
authorcricket.com staff

ICC hope to strike balance between WT20 leagues and international fixtures

With Women's IPL and Women's PSL set to attract a lot of eyeballs, the ICC hopes that they will not clash with international fixtures

The ICC hopes to ensure that there is lesser clash between Women's international cricket and franchise T20 leagues as they had done in the men's FTP. There were fears of clashes especially after the Women's PSL and IPL were announced recently. The Women's FTP was made publis last year, well before the announcements of the two new leagues were made.

However, the ICC remains confident that the franchise leagues and international cricket can be played side-by-side in what is seen as something that will go on to grow women's cricket around the world.

"The balance between the women's international fixtures and the domestic leagues is something we are going to have a better chance at cordinating than the way the men's calendar has developed over the last decade or so," Geoff Allardice, the ICC's CEO said Tuesday (January 10).

"We are starting to see a fairly regular schedule of cricket for the top female players around the world and the release of the first FTP for women's international cricket was a big stepping stone for trying to get ahead of that and trying to avoid clashes wherever possible with some of those leagues. 

"It is something we are monitoring on a regular basis and hopefully as we update the FTP, it's something we will continue to do to stay ahead of."

One of the main things that Allardice feels will work in women cricket's favour is that fact that they have far fewer Test matches than the men. There are only seven Tests scheduled in the FTP 2022-25.

"The one difference is that there isn't the same chunks of time taken up with Test series in the women's calendar and that gives a little bit more freedom to avoid those clashes," he said.

WIPL is something that is expected to garner a lot of interest from players around the world. The players have until January 26 to register their names for the auction, which is expected to be held some time in February.

"It will be tremendous for Indian cricket but also for overseas players who participate in the tournament," Snehal Pradhan, the ICC's new Women's Cricket Manager, said. 

"We have seen in the India-Australia series, not only did we have great crowds, we also had a great standard of cricket which has been a good advertisement for whatever might come next. The opportunity for so many more players to become professional and become close to professionalism will boost the depth and the quality in not just India but all over the world."

ICC is also doing its bit to grow women's sport with the inaugural edition ICC Under-19 T20 World Cup set to get underway this Saturday (January 14) with 16 teams unlike the men's competition that has only 10 sides.

Allardice also confirmed that that the senior Women's T20 World Cup in 2026 will feature 12 teams instead of 10 while there could be more teams featuring in the Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup in the future.

"The establishment of the Under-19 World Cup is going to help in terms of providing a pathway for players in some of the countries that perhaps haven't been leading the development of the women's game. That's one of the reasons why the Under-19 T20 World Cup is such a strategically important decision for cricket," he said.

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