By Asma Torgal

WOMEN’S premier league has been the talk of the town and making headlines everywhere. Not after the T20 Under-19 Women’s Cricket World Cup win but because the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), introduced the IPL venture to women, and this brought about a historical moment! Many hope that this will empower women across the nation.
The on-going debutant WPL has created an enthralling buzz in the world of cricket, with the five franchises being sold for a total of INR4,669 crore. The inaugural edition of the 21-match tournament kicked off on March 4, 2023 and will be held till March 26, 2023.
The five-team tournament follows the fast-paced T20 format games which last about three hours. The Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Indians and Lucknow-based UP Warriorz are the teams who are competing with each other. The prize money for the season is a whopping Rs10 crore.
Indian women cricketers will not only get the essential exposure to take their game to the next level, but also enjoy the perks of the tournament — as the WPL seems to have finally arrived as an exciting women’s sport in India.

So is this the game changer for women?
BREAKING the glass ceiling, Indian women’s cricketers playing franchise cricket just like the men did 15 years ago, is huge. It also attracts more investment and sponsorship for women’s cricket, raising the game’s profile in upcoming years. The aspiring young girls and women cricketers also come ahead and be a part of sports which lead to a larger pool of talent for the national team, which will eventually compete internationally.
Furthermore, WPL will not only benefit the women’s cricketers in India but will also impact everybody as a whole.

Follow a trail others had blazed!
SPORTS for a long time have blazed a trail for women across India, getting recognised over the years. But due to gender inequality, unawareness and other factors, the importance of bringing girls into sports is overlooked by our society. Sports also influences how society expects women to behave and all that will change with performance and recognition. Young women still struggle with crimes against women, sports breaks the barrier and creates a great impact on gender equality.
All in all the WPL is going to be a turning point for women’s cricket, it will play a reframing role on how women’s sports and games are perceived in India.

Women and sports
THE women’s sports road ahead remains long for the league to cement itself as a viable rather than a short-lived phenomenon. There is a need for economic and political empowerment for women such as policies that would support gender equality and be an agent for change for the better for women in both public and private spheres, create affirmative action policies that have a quota for the number of women in policy-making and positions in various fields.
To be precise, not just WPL but overall sports can bring empowerment, for investing in sports today means creating more employment, economic growth and development even for the country. The influence effects majorly and certainly it is not possible by only focussing on one game, but overall sports will be effective in the long term. One by one the momentum can be built and bring about a progressive change in our society at large.

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