It’s an exciting time for women’s cricket. The last two ICC tournaments, the most recent being the women’s T20 world cup earlier this year, generated a lot of interest and viewership. As promising times lie ahead, the next logical step is to foray into women’s T20 leagues. The Australian and English cricket boards have already stepped into this territory, and voices urging the wealthiest cricket board in the world, the BCCI, to initiate a women’s version of their cash-rich IPL, are growing louder. With the BCCI actively surveying the possibilities, a women’s IPL could be a reality in the near future.
The prospect of a women’s IPL is a compelling one. The world’s top players coming to India and participating in a six week-long carnival is a terrific prospect. It’s fair to assume that all the frontline Indian cricketers would be big draws in the auction. Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur, two seniors in the Indian side, would go on to captain their respective IPL teams. Older legends like Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami would also find buyers on account of the wealth of experience they bring. Youngsters Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues would fetch good bids for their aggressive batting, whereas the wily leg-spinner Poonam Yadav would garner the interest of multiple teams.
It would, however, be more interesting to see which foreign players would spark interest in the auction. With only four overseas cricketers permitted in a line-up, teams tend to adopt a more circumspect approach while spending money on them. As a result, only the cream of the lot generally attract good bids. We’ve shortlisted ten such overseas cricketers who could rake up a fortune in a women’s IPL.
Alyssa Healy (Australia)
The Aussie wicketkeeper-batswoman is an absolute beast at the top of the order. Her strike rate of 132.05 is by far the most impressive in women’s T20. She also holds the highest individual score (148) in T20 internationals. Indian fans wouldn’t want to remember the drubbing she gave our bowlers in the T20 world cup final this year.
Amelia Kerr (New Zealand)
New Zealand’s teenage sensation Amelia Kerr has made quite an impression in her short career. For starters, she already has the highest individual score in ODI cricket (232) to her name. With her leg-spin, she turns the ball prodigiously and has a googly that is hard to read. Leg-spinners are a sought-after breed in the IPL. A leg-spinner that can bat would certainly spike interest among teams.
Anisa Mohammed (West Indies)
The off-spinner from Trinidad is the highest wicket-taker in the world in T20 internationals, and boasts of four 4-wicket hauls and three 5-wicket hauls in her 111-match career. On spin-friendly pitches in India, she’d be a valuable asset to any side.
Anya Shrubsole (England)
Anya Shrubsole is among the leading new-ball bowlers in the world in all formats of the game, with the ability to move the ball sharply into the right-hander. In T20 internationals, her strike rate with the ball is an incredible 14.9.
Deandra Dottin (West Indies)
Deandra Dottin made waves when she became the first player to score a century in women’s T20 internationals in 2010. Just shy of her 19th birthday, the Barbadian smashed a 38-ball hundred against South Africa, which remains the fastest century in women’s T20 to date. She is also handy with the ball, often giving her side crucial breakthroughs with her medium pace.
Ellyse Perry (Australia)
If you had to put your money on one foreign player to fetch the highest bid in the IPL auction, it would be a wise call to put it on Ellyse Perry (pictured above). Perry is the most complete women’s cricketer in the world today, and possibly the greatest ever to have played the game. In her 12-year-old career, she has notched up impressive numbers with both bat and ball, and remains the biggest match-winner in the Australian side.
Meg Lanning (Australia)
Fittingly called “the Megastar”, the Australian captain is the best batsman on the planet today across all three formats. Apart from her obvious batting prowess, she also lends weight to her selection as a potential captain for an IPL side.
Megan Schutt (Australia)
One of the most prolific pacers in the world, Megan Schutt has a knack of picking up early wickets with the new ball and is also effective at the death. Her astounding average and strike rate of 15 with the ball indicates she is a genuine wicket-taker. With not enough top quality pacers available in India, most IPL teams prefer having an ace overseas pace bowler in their ranks to lead the attack. This would make Schutt a hot pick.
Sophie Devine (New Zealand)
An all-rounder and a gifted athlete, Sophie Devine is the most vital cog in the New Zealand side. She hits the ball at a healthy strike rate of 126.4 and keeps making contributions with her medium pace bowling.
Stafanie Taylor (West Indies)
Stafanie Taylor is the only cricketer in history to hold the number one ODI ranking in batting as well as bowling simultaneously. Add T20 world cup-winning captain to her list of credentials, and we have one hell of a cricketer at hand.
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