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Women’s IPL would be ‘amazing for the women’s game’

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Ben Stokes has suggested associating women’s sides with that of the men in franchise leagues, especially in the IPL

Heather Knight has echoed recent comments from Ben Stokes and Smriti Mandhana, calling for the formation of a women’s IPL, saying it “would be amazing for the women’s game”.

Knight lifted the WBBL title with the Sydney Thunder in November and was twice a Kia Super League winner before the English T20 league was scrapped to make way for the Hundred. She agreed that an IPL equivalent would be timely, and praised Stokes for speaking out in support of women’s cricket.

“It was awesome to see Stokesy talk about the women’s IPL,” she said. “The more allies we have in women’s cricket, it really helps to change perceptions. It’s great from Ben to say that and I totally agree, I think it would be amazing for the women’s game to have an IPL.

“You’ve seen it in Australia with the Big Bash, and hopefully here with the Hundred having men’s and women’s competitions alongside each other, it’s a really positive thing for the women’s game and really helps to progress things. It was really nice to see Ben make those comments.”

“I’m very hopeful there’ll be a women’s franchise side associated with every men’s franchise side so we’re able to grow the women’s game even bigger. What better place to do it than out here in India?”

Ben Stokes

Speculation about whether the BCCI could launch a women’s T20 league has circulated for some time, following the success of similar competitions in Australia and England. Speaking earlier this week ahead of the start of the men’s IPL, Stokes, an overseas player for the Rajasthan Royals, said he was very hopeful of fully fledged women’s franchises being established, too.

“Yes, I think the women’s game, especially over the last four to five years, has gone from strength to strength and it’s great how it is filtering into the men’s game in terms of [parallel] competitions and things like that,” he said on Red Bull’s Decoding Athletes podcast. “I’m very hopeful there’ll be a women’s franchise side associated with every men’s franchise side so we’re able to grow the women’s game even bigger. What better place to do it than out here in India?”

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