Australian women stars slam timing of India's T20 Challenge
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Some of Australia's top women's cricketers Monday blasted a decision by India to schedule its T20 Challenge during the Big Bash League as a "huge shame" and "sad for the game".
Indian cricket bosses on Sunday said the women's T20 Challenge will take place in the United Arab Emirates, comprising three teams with four matches during the playoff week of the cash-rich and globally popular men's Indian Premier League (IPL).
That would see it clash with the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), widely considered the top women's Twenty20 tournament, which is due to be held between October 17 and November 29. It would effectively mean Indian players will not be available for the WBBL while overseas stars face having to pick between the competitions.
"So during the WBBL... cool," Australian wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy tweeted sarcastically. "So the Indian players who've already signed wbbl contracts will do what? And all the international marquee players that will be in aus for wbbl? Good luck with it..."
Fellow Australian Jess Jonassen, the world's top-ranked one-day bowler, was equally bemused, saying "I have no words for this", while batting stalwart Rachael Haynes said "If true, it's a shame".
"While the game continues to grow, premier domestic competitions do not need to compete against each other," Haynes added.
Trailblazing former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates echoed similar sentiments. "What a huge shame for both the WBBL and WIPL competitions there is a clash," she said.
Both the IPL and T20 Challenge, also known as the women's IPL, have had to be rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. They were due to be played earlier in the year with the new dates finally set after the postponement of the men's T20 World Cup, which was scheduled to start in Australia in October.