Kolkata: India women's team head coach WV Raman on Saturday said a four-team women's version of the Indian Premier League is fine for this season as he is ready to give it a five-year window to be something like the men's version of the franchise-based T20 league.
The women's IPL has been in the pipeline for two years now with the BCCI starting the groundwork over the last two years. The foundation was laid when the one-off Women's T20 Challenge game was held in Mumbai in 2018 ahead of an IPL Playoff game.
It was then expanded to a three-team, four-game Women's T20 Challenge in Jaipur last year with IPL Supernovas winning the title.
There has been talk about expanding it and current BCCI boss Sourav Ganguly has said it will be gradual progress, with maybe four teams this season.
"I think four teams should be alright this year as far as I am concerned, this is my personal opinion," Raman said while speaking at the launch of his book "The Winning Sixer. Leadership Lessons to Master"
"I did mention last year, give it five years and women's IPL in Indian cricket will be a big brand globally as well.
"There is an audience for the women's game. That' why I feel, let's not jump the gun as when it starts, it will rock as the men's IPL," the former India batsman added.
Asked about the pay disparity between male and female cricketers at a time it is being talked about at a global level across all sports, he said: "Now that they have got the 'A' and U-23 levels, they will gain experience cricket wise. Similarly, in terms of monetary engagement, let them take it on a steady basis. Let them take it slow and steady. You might call it old fashioned but I feel it should be taken slow and steady. Let's not get too far from ourselves."
Raman took over the job at a time when women's cricket in the country was in turmoil with Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur coming off a row following India's semi-final exit in the Women's World T20.
"It's a case of talking to you, rather than talking about you. A lot of things are spoken about by people from the outside. There is a lot of confusion and a lot of noise. It's better to address it directly and talk to you," said Raman of the time he took over and how he went about it.
"It's a question of the need to know basics and need to talk basics. If there is nothing to talk, do not talk about it. I went in when there was noise. All these things happened when I was not there so everything was hearsay. I said let's start with a clean slate and talk about today and tomorrow."
Harmanpreet will lead a 15-member Indian squad that travels to Australia for the Women's T20 World Cup slated to be held from February 21 to March 8.
On India's chances, Raman said: "I am very positive about our girls' chances. I fancy their chances a lot. The one thing probably that needs to be enhanced is to strike an emotional balance.
"There would be a sudden change in tempo in scorecards, it would induce emotions from both ends. If they can find a middle path that will enhance our chances," he said.
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