Due to WPL, women players now won’t quit cricket because of lack of motivation and opportunity’: Mithali Raj

The former India captain Mithali Raj believes the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will make women players “stick longer with the game”. In the past, she reckons, players have quit the game because they felt they didn’t have the opportunity to play for India. “But now they can continue to play in the franchise league,” Mithali told The Indian Express. She also believes that like the IPL, the WPL can become the feeder-system for the women’s national team.

“Once you feel that you don’t have the opportunity in domestic cricket, some players might lack the motivation to continue. This will come as motivation for such players in future, if it all they feel that they don’t have the opportunity to play for India. They can continue to play in the franchise league,” Mithali, who is part of Gujarat Giants in the WPL, said.

Mithali said the WPL will change the way women players look at the sport.

“Players will certainly choose to stick to cricket for a longer time and for domestic players it’s a good platform. Probably they feel that they have been left out of the domestic set-up but now players have the WPL. The performance in WPL will be looked at, look how players get picked after the performance of the IPL in the Indian team. Similarly you can expect this in two-three years time,” Raj said.

More than 400 cricketers underwent an auction process in Mumbai where India’s opener Smriti Mandana went for a whopping 3.40 crore rupees.

It was a huge day for women’s cricket as players and fans have been eagerly awaiting this moment. The Indian board decided to match the pay for Indian national team’s women players with the men’s team, however, domestic cricket isn’t paid that well.

An average women cricketer playing domestic matches gets 20,000 for a one-day game while non-playing players earn 10,000 rupees per day. The Indian board pays 10,000 rupees per T20 game in women’s while non-playing players earn 5000 rupees. There are four zonal games too. On an average, a player plays eight ODIs and eight T20 games every year, earning around 2,40,000 lakh rupees per annum.

In the WPL auction, the minimum uncapped player earned was 10 lakh rupees. Out of 16 players in the victorious ICC under-19 women’s teams,nine were picked by the franchises.

The franchises had to draft their strategy in a short span of time and Delhi Capital owner Parth Jindal said he felt like a tenth standard student who had to learn the entire syllabus in the last nine days.

“Ever since the WPL was announced, media rights have gone up, there has been a buzz. Today some players went for three crores, two crores, it has been a monumental day; this will change women’s cricket forever,” Jindal said.

With not much data available on women’s cricket, the franchise has to rely on word of mouth from state associations and former players.

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