Hope RCB makes statement fielding team in Women’s IPL, says Veda Krishnamurthy
Indian player Veda Krishnamurthy was eager to see Sabbhineni Meghana in action for the Trailblazers ahead of their opener against Supernovas in the Women’s T20 Challenge.
Her performances against New Zealand earlier this year and in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy for the Railways champion made her an exciting addition to the WT20C roster.
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“Unfortunately, Meghana was not part of the World Cup squad. She’s someone I can’t wait to see. Someone I’ve bonded closely with. I’ve seen her since she was kid,” said Krishnamurthy, who is now part of the Indian Premier League and WT20C broadcast team.
With Meghana missing the playing XI on Monday, Krishnamurthy’s preference points to a problem facing the WT20C as it moves into a full-fledged women’s IPL.
“As things stand, it’s quite difficult for someone who doesn’t know women’s cricket to be connected to these teams and this tournament. The tournament went incredibly well but, to be honest, unless it’s franchise-based, you can’t have fans that will help the tournament grow. Individual players obviously have fanbases here, but unless you introduce franchises, people won’t be able to connect with teams as well as they should. she says.
This is true in a situation where rosters have changed every season and arbitrarily. While the Board of Control for Cricket in India would prioritize existing men’s IPL franchises in the team building process for the women’s variant, Krishnamurthy hopes his favorite franchise – Royal Challengers Bangalore – will enter the field.
“I would really like them to join us considering the fanbase of RCB. A great franchise like this attracts a lot of people who are new to this side of the tournament and players. Hopefully they choose to get involved and make a big statement. We have seen what it has done with the IPL in the men’s game. The women’s cricket just needs to start somewhere and we can expect that for the women’s game as well “, she added.
BCCI has much to do to flesh out the Women’s IPL, but a consistent argument with the concept has been its focus on strengthening the national framework. The recently concluded senior women’s T20 trophy is said to have prompted the BCCI not to allow players to travel to events like the FairBreak Invitational in 2022 to ensure their full availability for the tournament. However, neither streaming/telecasting nor bullet-to-bullet commentary was available for any of the games.
The problem persists for all genders at the national level. For years, the cash-rich board has been patchy in providing consistent television broadcasts and accessible commentary for domestic matches, be it Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy or even Ranji Trophy encounters.
“The knockouts aired last year. Due to COVID and the third wave, we weren’t able to do the tournament in February and it had to be postponed to a time when IPL and a lot of other things are happening on TV. Sometimes you can’t find another location. In the men’s game, a lot of domestic cricket is also not televised around the IPL. Because of the levels of interest people want to see domestic cricket and see who may be potential IPL players, streaming, broadcasting, and all of those things depend on the end product, and in this case that’s the IPL. if that happens, then everything else will come into play,” Krishnamurthy said.
Among the many things fans didn’t get to see such as Kiran Navgire’s explosive batting, Maharashtra’s Harleen Deol and Aarti Kedar’s fast-paced century, and Maya Sonawane’s bowling in tandem was Shafali Varma the captain.
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Deepti Sharma finds herself in more leadership roles and Varma is seen as a full captain at national level bodes well for an ecosystem that sees the presence of veterans Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami fading.
“Some things you need to look for in a leader are their ability to read the game and their ability to think about the game and see what needs to be done. Not all good players make good leaders, but the ability to absorb the pressure and making decisions is crucial,” Krishnamurthy said.
“If I’m involved in picking players for care, I’d pick someone who can stay calm and get the job done. Watching how they react on the pitch and their conversations with their existing captains and coaches can give us some insight into the situation. However, you find your potential leaders and put them in a group that is given leadership roles and sometimes you throw them under the bus to test what they can do,” she added.
Watch the Women’s T20 Challenge and IPL Qualifiers on Star Sports and Disney+ Hotstar