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IPL 2022 – Stories | Indian Premier League

Rajasthan Royals CEO: ‘We’d love to have a women’s IPL team’

by Sarah Waris 3 minute read

Rajasthan Royals CEO Jake Lush McCrum has said the IPL franchise would “love to have a women’s IPL team”.

The topic of whether the BCCI would launch a women’s IPL has been much-discussed for a long time. In 2018, the BCCI  organised the inaugural Women’s T20 Challenge, with the first edition consisting of a one-off exhibition game. The next two editions had three teams participating, with a total of four games being played in each, while the 2021 version was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 2021 IPL was played out to a finish.

The BCCI has indicated that it plans to launch a women’s IPL in 2023, with board president Sourav Ganguly telling reporters in March that “we plan to start it by next year hopefully”.

McCrum, who has worked for the Royals since 2017 and been CEO since 2021, has confirmed the franchise’s interest in starting a women’s side. “We’d love to have a women’s IPL team when it launches next year. We’re definitely very interested to expand our franchise base,” McCrum told Wisden India. “I’m so excited about the growth of women’s cricket in India and around the world.”

McCrum added that a women’s IPL could help develop the sport at the grassroots level in India and make it a viable career option for young girls, just like The Hundred and the Women’s Big Bash League have done in England and Australia, respectively. “We’ve seen in Australia the amount of investment they’ve put in and the impact that’s had on the game, and on the fanbase, the following, the grassroots cricket,” McCrum added. “In England, last year, I think the biggest success of The Hundred was women’s cricket. The amount of fans coming in to watch the women’s cricket match, the amount of girls playing cricket that summer, it’s awesome.

“In India, the growth of participants in the women’s game has been significant, and I think a women’s IPL would take it to the next level. Because it would make parents and families around the world see that it is a viable career option. It is an amazing sport, and we want everyone to be a part of it.

“I’ve seen the passion of the fans for the women’s game. I’ve watched women’s internationals in Jaipur, and I’ve seen our own players get so excited when they get to meet Smriti Mandhana, when they get to see her cover drives – that passion is at another level, so I think women’s IPL is going to be brilliant, and we’d love to be a part of it, and I know it’s going to be a massive success.”

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