“Pretty sure that we would see it happening in a year or two,” mentioned an optimistic Shikha Pandey on being requested when can one probably see a full-fledged Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) going forward. The Women’s T20 Challenge was performed for the very first time in 2018 and in a one-off match, the Supernovas had been in a position to outclass the TrailBlazers.
Then, in 2019, the BCCI organised a three-team event as an alternative of a one-off match, that includes a brand new group referred to as Velocity together with Trailblazers and Supernovas.
Shikha performed the inaugural version of the event for the TrailBlazers whereas within the 2019 version, she represented Velocity.
This yr, BCCI had scheduled a four-team contest in the Women’s T20 Challenge with seven matches in comparison with final yr’s 4. However, the coronavirus pandemic compelled the postponement of the event.
In a telephonic interview with ANI, Shikha Pandey spoke in regards to the Women’s IPL and the way the competitors can encourage extra women within the nation to take up the game.
“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, at the international level, you get to play high-intensity games, to have world-class cricketers playing alongside you, you get to learn so much from them in terms of their experience. With IPL matches being happening and them being televised, a lot of young girls would be able to watch it on television, it would be a huge thing as being a 90s kid I did not get the chance to watch televised women’s matches much,” mentioned Shikha whereas talking in regards to the prospects of the Women’s IPL.
“It would inspire the younger lot to take up cricket. We have got a huge talent pool within our domestic cricket, I would say Women’s IPL should happen and I am very sure in another year or two, we will see a very well organised Women’s IPL. We have played Women’s T20 Challenge in 2018 and 2019, the kind of reception we got from the people that came to watch those matches was amazing, the stadium was jampacked, any international series we play in India, we have always received great support from the crowd,” added the pacer who made her debut in 2014.
The 31-year-old Shikha additionally talked about what prompted her to write down an extended Twitter thread, asking the involved authorities to not tinker with guidelines to make ladies’s cricket extra “attractive”.
There have been strategies of making an attempt out a smaller ball or shorter pitch for ladies’s cricket, however Shikha had suggested that rather than changing the rules, authorities should look to market the sport better.
Elaborating about her Twitter thread, Shikha mentioned: “I have been hearing suggestions to make women’s cricket more appealing for a while now, there was a lot being said about the changes that were needed to be made in order to make women’s 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 with it, but I was happy that people who did not agree with my opinion also came out and talked about it. I was very happy with the very fact that people were coming out suggesting changes, it means they are thinking about women’s cricket and how it can grow,” she added.
Shikha was part of the Indian squad that made the finals of the 2017 50-over World Cup and T20 World this yr. The pacer talked in regards to the affect of the finals of each the key tournaments.
India had missed out on profitable each the tournaments, because the facet confronted loss in opposition to England within the 50-over World Cup remaining, whereas the Harmanpreet Kaur-led facet confronted defeat in opposition to Australia within the T20 World Cup’s summit conflict.
Talking about 2017 World Cup remaining, Shikha mentioned: “After the 2017 World Cup, there was a surge in a number of girls who actually wanted to take up cricket professionally in India, they have been coming to to the academies in order to become next Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami. The games after the 2017 World Cup have been televised no matter where we have played.”
“It was amazing to see so many people come down at the MCG to watch the finals of the T20 World Cup, it is once in a lifetime opportunity to play at the MCG to play in a front of so many people on Women’s Day with greats like Katy Perry and Billie Jean King. It was a spectacle, we lost the match, yes, but we were very lucky to play in front of so many people,” mentioned Shikha whereas speaking in regards to the T20 World Cup on the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Shikha, who has scalped 73 wickets in ODIs, additionally talked about her learnings from the losses the Indian facet suffered within the finals of the 2 main ICC tournaments.
“Everyone’s mental setup is different, I have learnt a lot of things from the two finals that I played in, I always believe that you learn a lot more from defeats than from the success you have, holding your nerve in high-pressure situations is something I have learnt, to be able to think clearly is another thing I have learnt,” mentioned Shikha.
The Indian ladies’s group was final seen in motion within the finals of the T20 World Cup this yr in opposition to Australia. After that, coronavirus pandemic compelled all sporting occasions to come back to a halt.
On being requested about how she spent her lockdown days, Shikha mentioned: “The initial few days were a bit difficult, but then once I started following my routine, I had a timetable for myself, I have been working out twice a day, the trainer has been really helpful as he has been sending the programmes, I have been staying in isolation at Goa Cricket Indoor facility, I have spent a lot of time with my family, it is a privilege to be at home for this long.”
The Women’s 50-over World Cup is slated to be performed in New Zealand subsequent yr and Shikha opined that the group would make it possible for everyone seems to be within the peak of their health once they get again to the sphere once more.
“I cannot really assess the time I will require to get back into shape, I have been doing my conditioning sessions and I have kept them as a top priority, I have been doing everything to be in the best shape possible. I am hopeful that we have the 2021 World Cup next year on time,” Shikha mentioned.
“I am really looking forward to it, when we get back to the field we will make sure that we are at peak of our fitness, we will make sure that we are mentally and physically fit,” she added.
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