“Pretty sure we’ll see it happen in a year or two,” said an optimistic Shikha Pandey when asked when a full-fledged Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) could be seen. The Women’s T20 Challenge was first played in 2018, and in a one-off game, the Supernovas were able to surpass the TrailBlazers.
Then, in 2019, the BCCI hosted a three-team tournament instead of a one-off game, with a new team called Velocity teaming up with Trailblazers and Supernovas.
Shikha played the inaugural edition of the tournament for the TrailBlazers, while in the 2019 edition she represented Velocity.
This year, BCCI had scheduled a four-team game in the Women’s T20 Challenge with seven games compared to last year’s four. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tournament was postponed.
In a telephone interview with ANI, Shikha Pandey spoke about the IPL for women and how the competition can encourage more girls in the country to practice the sport.
“As a cricketer, if you ask me, having the high intensity games and being able to play them would be a big plus for us, internationally you are allowed to play high intensity games, to have world class cricketers if you playing next to you, you learn so much from them in terms of their experience.With IPL competitions taking place and being televised, many young girls could watch it on television, it would be a huge thing if a child from the 90s I didn’t get a chance to watch a lot of women’s games on TV, ”Shikha said as he spoke about the prospects of the Women’s IPL.
“It would inspire the younger party to start cricket. We have a huge talent pool within our domestic cricket, I would say IPL should be for women and I am sure in a year or two we will be a very well organized Women’s see IPL We played the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2018 and 2019, the kind of reception we got from the people watching those games was amazing, the stadium was flooded, all international series we play in India, we always got a lot of support from the crowd, “added the pacesetter who made her debut in 2014.
31-year-old Shikha also spoke about what prompted her to write a lengthy Twitter thread asking the authorities involved not to tinker with rules to make cricket more “attractive” to women.
There have been suggestions for trying out a smaller ball or shorter field for women’s cricket, but Shikha had suggested that instead of changing the rules, the authorities should better market the sport.
Shikha talked about her Twitter thread and said, “I’ve heard suggestions for a while to make female cricket more attractive, a lot was said about the changes that needed to be made to make the female cricket more attractive, it was something I wanted to express, what I wrote in my Twitter thread was what I really felt. “
“There were many people who agreed, but I was happy that people who disagreed with me came to talk about it. I was very happy that people came out to propose changes, it means they think about women’s cricket and how it can grow, “she added.
Shikha was part of the Indian squad that reached the final of the 2017 50 FIFA World Cup and the T20 world this year. The pacesetter talked about the impact of the final of both major tournaments.
India had not won both tournaments, as the match was beaten in the 50 World Cup Final against England, while the Harmanpreet Kaur-led squad against Australia was defeated in the T20 World Cup clash.
Speaking about the 2017 World Cup final, Shikha said: “After the 2017 World Cup there was a wave of some girls who wanted to practice professional cricket in India, they have come to the academies to become the next Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. The games after the 2017 World Cup have been televised no matter where we played. “
“It was great to see so many people come to the MCG to watch the T20 World Championship finals. It is a unique opportunity to play on the MCG to play with so many people on Women’s Day like Katy Perry and Billie Jean King It was a spectacle, we lost the game, yes, but we were lucky to be playing for so many people, “said Shikha as he spoke about the T20 World Championship at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Shikha, who scored 73 wickets at ODIs, also shared her experience of the losses suffered by the Indian squad in the final of the two major ICC tournaments.
“Everyone’s mindset is different, I learned a lot from the two finals I played in, I always believe that you learn a lot more from defeats than from the success you have, holding on to your guts in high pressure situations is something I learned “To be able to think clearly is something else I have learned,” said Shikha.
The Indian women’s team was last in action this year in the final of the T20 World Cup against Australia. After that, the coronavirus pandemic forced all sports events to a halt.
When asked how she spent her lockdown days, Shikha said, “The first few days were a bit difficult, but once I started following my routine I had a timetable for myself, I trained twice a day, the trainer has been very helpful because he sent the programs, i have been in isolation at the Goa Cricket Indoor facility, i have spent a lot of time with my family, it is a privilege to be home for so long. “
The FIFA Women’s World Cup 50-over is scheduled to be played in New Zealand next year, and Shikha believed the team would ensure that everyone is at the top of their fitness when they get back on the field.
“I can’t really estimate how much time I need to get back into shape, I’ve done my conditioning sessions and I’ve kept them as a top priority, I’ve done everything I can to be in the best shape possible. I hope we have the World Cup 2021 on time next year, ”said Shikha.
“I’m really looking forward to it, when we get back on the field we’ll make sure we’re at the peak of our fitness, we’ll make sure we’re mentally and physically fit,” she added.
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