Rajasthan Royals CEO Jake Lush McCrum has said that the franchise is ‘definitely interested’ in expanding its base which includes owning a team in women’s IPL which is set to be launched next year. The BCCI has been holding a Women’s T20 Challenge since 2018 in the middle of IPL barring last year when it was cancelled due to covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said the board is hopeful of getting the much-awaited women’s IPL underway sometime next year.
“We’d love to have a women’s IPL team when it launches next year,” McCrum told Wisden India. “We’re definitely very interested to expand our franchise base. I’m so excited about the growth of women’s cricket in India and around the world.”
Citing the examples of how Australia (Women’s Big Bash League) and England (The Hundred) have tasted success with their own women’s T20 leagues, McCrum is hopeful it can be replicated by India as well.
“We’ve seen in Australia the amount of investment they’ve put in and the impact that’s had on the game, and on the fanbase, the following, the grassroots cricket. In England, last year, I think the biggest success of The Hundred was women’s cricket. The amount of fans coming in to watch the women’s cricket match, the amount of girls playing cricket that summer, it’s awesome,” he said.
He continued, “In India, the growth of participants in the women’s game has been significant, and I think a women’s IPL would take it to the next level. Because it would make parents and families around the world see that it is a viable career option. It is an amazing sport, and we want everyone to be a part of it.”
The board has said the process to launch a full-fledged women’s IPL has begun and it could be a five or six team competition. Unlike Women’s T20 Challenge though, it will not run parallel to the men’s IPL and is expected to have its own window.