The inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League has come to its final day and Delhi Capitals will take on Mumbai Indians for the coveted title. The season has provided any enough stories for a brighter future and what has worked superbly for them this year is the way people have welcomed the league.
For five franchises, who invested heavily in the tournament, it couldn’t have been better. Delhi Capitals CEO Dhiraj Malhotra broke down that sentiment, stating that there is a lucrative financial incentive to the Women’s Premier League and it is not a CSR activity for them.
"You don't invest so heavily in CSR activity,” Malhotra told TOI. “We never looked at having a women's team like that. Yes, there is a financial side to the investment. You have to run the numbers. This WPL will give returns in years to come. The response to the league says it has been a success.
"We hired agencies who cover women's cricket across the country. They have the data, analysis and videos. What we also did was we had directed the entire scouting team for the men's squad to work on women's cricket. All the five franchises had to announce their support staff very late but we had formed the core of the team before we zeroed down on the support staff. They were provided with all the data and they worked around it," Malhotra said.
The BCCI cited the lack of enough talents in the country to put together a season of Women’s Premier League earlier. Malhotra, who had earlier served as the GM of Cricket Operations for the BCCI, stated that U-19 World Cup and WPL will provide more impetus to the set-up in the coming years.
"The reason BCCI has not been able to create a robust domestic and age-group cricket compared to men's cricket is because there hasn't been demand as such from women cricketers. There aren't so many cricketers like men's.
“Now, with the U-19 World Cup and WPL, this will get more girls into the system. That will boost domestic cricket and there will be more talent coming through," Malhotra, who has served as BCCI GM for game development, reckoned.
"We do have girls coming to our DC academies. There have been more girls who just played the game as recreation. But this WPL will motivate them to stick to the sport," Malhotra said.