Cricket Hierarchy's Opposition A Blow To Planned Women's T20 Tournament
The cricket boards of Australia and England "have dealt a potentially hammer blow" to a proposed Indian Premier League-style women's T20 tournament, according to Chris Barrett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The league "hoped to pay top female players" as much as A$40,000 ($37,000) for a 12-day event. Former Southern Stars all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar and business partner Shaun Martyn "were behind the ambitious project." The goal was to have "a six-team competition, to be played in Singapore, up and running within the next nine months." However, their aspirations were "dented by opposition from the England and Wales Cricket Board." On Thursday, Cricket Australia said that they "did not endorse the mooted WICL and were instead pushing ahead with plans for a women's Big Bash League" to start in the summer of '15-16. It means members of Australia's world champion side "will not be released." CA GM of Team Performance Pat Howard said, “In relation to comments by the Women’s ICL, CA has not endorsed the competition in any way" (SMH, 6/5). The BBC reported plans for the WICL "will continue, despite a lack of support." The WICL said players and officials were being "potentially denied a great opportunity" and pledged to work to "provide women with the opportunities their male counterparts have" (BBC, 6/5).