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T20 Challenge in UAE is On, But Women's Cricket in India Does Not Have a Selection Panel

BCCI

BCCI

There has been plenty of talk around women's cricket in India in recent times, not always for the right reasons.

There has been plenty of talk around women's cricket in India in recent times, not always for the right reasons.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced that the three-team Women's T20 challenge will be held along with the Indian Premier League in UAE, but questions were raised about the timing as it clashed with the Women's Big Bash League in Australia.

While Indian cricketers welcomed the move to hold a T20 challenge, senior foreign players including Alyssa Healy and Suzie Bates had questioned the timing. Now, questions have emerged on who will select the three teams for the Women's T20 Challenge as women's cricket in India does not have a selection committee.

The Hemlata Kala-led selection committee --which also had Anjali Pendharker, Sudha Shah, Lopamudra Bhattacharji and Shashi Gupta – has already completed its tenure.

The BCCI had put out an advertisement for the appointment of a new panel along with the men’s senior and junior selectors in January. The BCCI were swift in hiring people for the men’s panels but no appointments were made for the women's panel. It's the selection panel that picks teams for the challenge, and now with an extended squad likely due to COVID-19 reasons, it's unclear who will pick the sides.

The Indian women’s team recently withdrew from their tour of England where they supposed to be part of a tri-nation series with the hosts and South Africa. The reasons cited were logistical reasons such as arranging camps and international travel restrictions.

Former India women captain Anjum Chopra called for better communication about women's cricket in India.

Also Read: Alyssa Healy, Suzie Bates Unhappy as Proposed Women's IPL Dates Clash with WBBL

"It's not that the BCCI is not thinking about women's cricket. I only think they need to be more specific in communication about women's cricket," Chopra told PTI.

"I firmly believe that they must be thinking about women's cricket but the communication all this while has been very specific to men's cricket."

BCCI Apex Council member and former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy had recently told PTI that a franchise based women's IPL was possible in the near future.

"Those who were predicting doomsday for women's cricket, I want to say to them BCCI is interested in promoting women's cricket and I would like to thank Brijesh Patel (IPL Chairman), president (Sourav Ganguly) and secretary (Jay Shah) for making this possible in these tough times.

"It was supposed to be a four team event this year but the venue change has made the task much tougher. I am happy that it is happening and hopefully will lead to franchise-based tournament like the IPL in the near future."