Cricket: Knight believes IPL would take women's cricket to next level

Yahoo Sport UK
England captain Heather Knight poses with the trophy after winning the ICC Women’s World Cup
England captain Heather Knight poses with the trophy after winning the ICC Women’s World Cup

Heather Knight believes the introduction of a women’s IPL tournament will make the game grow ‘massively’.

Women’s cricket has gone from strength to strength in recent years, with the showpiece World Cup final at Lord’s last year something of a watershed moment for the game.

That fixture saw England beat India in a dramatic ending, and there were more than 200 million people watching around the world.

Knight knows that figure would have been enhanced by the presence of India in the final and having played in both the KIA Super League in England and the Big Bash tournament in Australia, feels an Indian T20 competition is not too far away.

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There was an exhibition game played prior to one of this year’s IPL semi-finals, involving the best Indian players and a number of stars from around the world, including England’s Danni Wyatt and Dani Hazell, and many believe that is a precursor to a proper tournament.

Knight would certainly be on board: “There is not a woman’s IPL at the moment, but I think there will be in a few years,” she told Love Sport Radio, in association with Lord’s Taverners.

“Once it takes hold in India it will grow the game massively, because of how popular the men’s game is out there.

Anya Shurbsole celebrates the wicket that sealed England’s World Cup victory last summer

“The viewership we got for the World Cup final last year was 200 million – I imagine a large portion were in India.”

That victory in the final last June saw England’s cricket side gain the recognition they deserve and it is one of numerous successes for England women’s sports teams in recent years.

The Lionesses reached the semi-finals of the last football World Cup in 2015, at the Rio Olympics the Team GB hockey side won a historic gold medal and earlier this year the netball side stunned hosts Australia at the Commonwealth Games.

“I just think women’s sport is getting the recognition it has lacked over a long period,” Knight explained.

Team GB’s ladies team celebrate their gold medal at the Rio Olympics
Team GB’s ladies team celebrate their gold medal at the Rio Olympics

“It’s a golden age for success in women’s sport, especially team sport. See how well the hockey girls are doing, the lionesses, the rugby team, the netball winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal.

“It’s a really good time to be a sportswoman these days, as people become more aware of it.

“Sports have gone professional recently which has really pushed up the standard.”

Heather Knight was speaking to Love Sport Radio, available on 558AM, DAB and Radioplayer.


 

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