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ICC WOMEN'S WORLD CUP 2017

Time is now for Women's IPL: Raj

23 July 2017

Aaron Pereira, London


@AaronPereira_

Aaron Pereira, London


@AaronPereira_

India captain calls for introduction of female T20 tournament in home country on eve of WWC decider

With her team all set for their biggest-ever match, India captain Mithali Raj has ramped up calls for the introduction of a Women's Indian Premier League.

"I think it is (time), now looking at the way the girls have been performing in the last couple of years, and we've also seen how Smriti (Mandhana) and Harmanpreet (Kaur) have benefited from their exposure to the WBBL," Raj said.

"I'm sure if the other youngsters in the side are exposed to the same culture even the domestic standards in Indian women's cricket will also improve immensely."

Kaur rages then unleashes in World Cup semi

Raj, India's greatest-ever ODI run-scorer in women's cricket, was hopeful that her side's campaign would inspire her home board to invest more into growing the game among women in India and start a female T20 domestic tournament.

"The BCCI is looking up to women's cricket and there might be a lot of changes back home if we go on to win the World Cup," she said.

"Those changes could benefit the future generations for years to come, women's cricket in India will have a brand of its own.

Only Australia and England have established T20 leagues for women, with Raj hopeful victory on Sunday could kick-start India's plans.

"This win will give it that edge for young girls to take up the sport back home and maybe Women's IPL will be in the pipeline," she added. 

India, England set for Lord's showdown

Sydney Thunder batter and semi-final Player of the Match Harmanpreet Kaur played in the second season in the WBBL, and looms as a key to India's success against England, but suffered a shoulder setback during their final training session at Lord's.

"She's fit enough to take the ground, she's taking a precaution to not aggravate any niggles further," Raj said of her star batter's injury.

Kaur was in obvious discomfort in the nets, grimacing as she endeavoured to rotate her shoulder, with medical staff working on her throughout Saturday's session.

India will be confident heading into their second Women's World Cup final - after reaching the decider in 2005 – already boasting a win over their opponents in the group stages.

Quick Single: 'I wanted to prove myself': Kaur

But England captain Heather Knight is out to get even for her side's 35-run defeat in the campaign opener, the hosts looking to claim their fourth-world title.

"It feels like a hell of a long time ago that opening game was played," Knight said.

"Obviously we're out for a little bit of revenge but both sides have played a lot of cricket since then and changed a lot, so I don't think the first game will have much of a bearing.

More than 26,000 people are expected to pack out the Lord's Ground to see England host India in the World Cup final on Sunday.

About the Writer

@AaronPereira_
Aaron Pereira is a writer for cricket.com.au, with a major focus on the Indian Premier League. He also edits cricket.com.au news packages and highlights.