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Finally, a franchise league for women

Feb 14, 2019 | CN Staff |

Nepali women's cricketers finally got themselves a sigh of relief after Pokhara Premier League (PPL) organisers Queen's Event Management Pvt Ltd on Thursday announced Women's Champions League (WCL) -- a franchise Twenty20 competition.

Nepal has not seen domestic tournaments for women cricketers for quite a long time, first owing to the chaos in the Cricket Association of Nepal resulting into the suspension of the cricket governing body.

After private sectors stepped in, the country currently hosts international cricketers in three premier Twenty20 leagues for men but for women, the game has all been about long wait for countable fixtures from the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) or International Cricket Council (ICC).

The absence of proper domestic tournament and lengthy gap in international fixtures have forced the women cricketers to look for options other than cricket. The national women's team recently competed in the Thailand Women's Twenty20 Smash where they lost to the hosts in the final and not having tournaments back home was one of the reasons for the loss.

But with WCL introduced, Nepali women will not only break the duck of domestic tournament but also taste the experience of playing in a competitive environment. Queen's Managing Director Chhumbi Lama on Thursday said the WCL will be a five-team city-based franchise Twenty20 Tournament.

"To balance the team, we will go with the option of either auction or draft pick. The teams will play a round robin league before the top two teams compete in the final," informed Lama during a press conference on Thursday. All the matches will be held at the TU grounds from April 5-13.

The women's team is about to compete in the ICC Women's Qualifier Asia which is scheduled to be held in Thailand from February 18-27. The seven-team Asia Qualifier will send the winners into the 2019 ICC Women's Global Qualifier for 2020 ICC World Women's Twenty20 Cup and 2021 ICC 50-over Women's World Cup.

Nepali women's team skipper Rubina Chhetri, who along with her teammates has been asking to provide with competitive tournament for the women, was visibly excited. "This is the beginning for us and we all are very excited. These kind of tournaments will give us much-needed exposure. If we get few more tournaments like these we can be in the World Cup," said Rubina.


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