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BCCI mulling women's exhibition T20s during IPL

"The members deliberated on the requirement for a women's event besides an event for the juniors." © Getty
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) is mulling to conduct a few exhibition women T20 matches this year during the knock-out phase of the IPL if things work out logistically. This move is to test the waters before BCCI launches a women's T20 league.
According to Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai, the BCCI is committed to conducting a women's IPL and this year could see some concrete movement on this front. "If we find that we can host a few exhibition matches then BCCI would like to do it this year. The women cricketers deserve to play IPL," Rai told TOI on Sunday.
Even the IPL Governing Council deliberated this proposal in October last year. According to the minutes of the meeting, "The members deliberated on the requirement for a women's event besides an event for the juniors. The members suggested that a plan can be drawn and presented at the subsequent meeting."
Former star of India's women's team and CoA member Diana Edulji feels a lot of planning is needed before the idea becomes reality. "The IPL GC may discuss it for sure. If it's feasible we will do it. I am all for women's IPL. But it's too late this year to come up with a full-fledged event because of time constraint. We need a different window and, therefore, we can't rush into it. It needs a lot of planning," Diana said.
As far as exhibition matches are concerned, a few top cricketers from England and Australia could be available for the mini-event. India will be playing a series against Australia next month. Following that, a tri-series has also been planned involving England, Australia and India. Thereafter, India are supposed to host another series against England. If things go as planned, England, Australia and South Africa players could be invited for this year's event along with other Test playing nations.
Diana also praised the Indian women's team which won the ODI and T20 series away in South Africa. "I am happy with the way they played. This series has shown a new Indian team. The body language was good. Their fielding picked up and they were keen to win the series."

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