There is a women’s revolution sweeping through sports that cannot - and should not - be ignored. Although there are still some battles to be won, female athletes enjoy more opportunities today than ever before, including the chance of earning a good salary that isn’t too far removed from what the men earn.
Women’s soccer, in particular, has enjoyed major growth during the last five years, reaching a pinnacle at last year’s World Cup in France, which was watched by a total live attendance of 1.1m and a global TV audience of more than 263m different people. But football isn’t the only sport experiencing these changes.
Changes to cricket
The Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup recently concluded and, despite inclement weather that heavily disrupted the knock-out stages, it was a hugely successful event, with 86,174 people packing into the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch the Final.
There are changes being made at the domestic level too. In the UK, it was recently announced that the new Hundred tournament will offer equal pay to male and female players. This is a milestone moment for that country, and the whole sport of cricket, and there is pressure on other governing bodies and organizers to make their own changes to promote female equality.
In Australia, the Big Bash competition now features a women’s league and, with the new Indian Premier League season around the corner, it’s perhaps time to consider how that competition can evolve and expand to include opportunities for female
Our women’s T20 cricket team celebrated International Women’s Day with an epic World Cup final win over India, in front of a massive MCG crowd, and it was bloody magnificent!#TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/dNmYHEFkjw— The Project (@theprojecttv) March 9, 2020
2020 is the IPL’s 13th season and excitement ahead of the first match is high, with fans making their predictions for who’ll be this year’s big winners and many checking out the betting odds being offered by different providers. Through sites like CasinoWings, they can find popular live casinos who also offer their 100% deposit bonuses on a sportsbook, such as ComeOn! casino. But throughout its history, the IPL hasn’t included a women’s competition. And perhaps that’s where the competition’s next expansion lies, as opposed to the consideration of new men’s teams in an effort to grow numbers in the existing competition.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar is one of the people calling for the introduction of a female competition to complement the men’s IPL. He said: "I've been asking for a women's IPL for the last couple of years ever since I saw the finals at Lord's 2017. That is where you actually saw that there is potential for a women's IPL.”
Gavaskar suggests starting with a reduced competition featuring a much smaller number of teams and growing from that point. He believes that talent can be drawn globally to compete in the competition, helping bring even more of the world’s best players to India.
As the world’s elite competitions consider how they can provide more opportunities to female players at elite level, the IPL can’t afford to be left behind. And even though cricket is traditionally seen as a gentlemen’s game, that old stereotype simply doesn’t ring true anymore.
Of course, we will all relish this year’s competition, but it’s to be hoped that organizers are considering making it more inclusive from next year.
Announcement— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) February 18, 2020
Schedule for league stage of the VIVO IPL 2020 is out
Mumbai Indians to take on Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener in Mumbai on March 29th
Full Details here https://t.co/vi0Ve6zoy8 pic.twitter.com/kankjBLuJg
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