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BCCI rejects Royal Challengers Bangalore’s idea of a mixed gender T20 match

RCB’s hopes of holding such a match were dashed by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators.

Mixed gender match
Mixed gender match. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Both of India’s Men’s and Women’s cricket teams have been making the country proud in the past 2-3 years with their achievements on the field. The Women cricket team, in particular, has broken new grounds with their Women’s World Cup 2017 final’s appearance and with the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana playing in foreign T20 leagues in Australia and England, the exposure for their cricket has reached its zenith.

Talking of T20 leagues, even the BCCI took applaudable steps towards a possible Women’s IPL, by having three teams play a triangular T20I series in midst of the IPL 2019, unlike just two teams playing one match in IPL 2018. This might also raise hopes of BCCI bringing in a full-fledged Women’s T20 tournament in the near future. However, one idea floated by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) of a mixed gender T20 match was nixed by the Indian board.

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Mixed gender T20 match featuring Kohli, Mandhana and Harmanpreet rejected

During the whole Indian Premier League, the RCB franchise hyped a pathbreaking T20 match featuring players from both the Men’s and Women’s cricketers playing together. The advertisements saw the likes of Mithali Raj, Virat Kohli, and Harmanpreet Kaur talking about breaking the proverbial glass ceiling which might happen in a possible T20 match.

However, RCB’s hopes of holding such a match were dashed by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators. RCB was looking to play such a match at the conclusion of the ICC World Cup 2019 and had begun promotion of the match as well, hyping up the event. The commercials aired during the IPL 2019 got the fans excited.

Since the BCCI doesn’t allow contracted players participating in unsanctioned exhibition games, COA turned down the request for the mixed-gender match. “The RCB had asked for permission for a mixed-gender Twenty20 exhibition match, as part of a campaign launched by Royal Challenge Sports Drink but it is against the BCCI rules. The BCCI doesn’t allow players to be part of exhibition games and that is why the request was turned down,” a BCCI source was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

RCB had run a campaign titled #ChallengeAccepted to promote the match and the captain of the franchise Virat Kohli was quoted saying as “Be it, men or women, cricket is one game, and I want to urge fans to break the boundaries that exist in their mind that divides the sport by gender. Equality in sports is ultimately a reflection of equality in life, and if we want a better tomorrow, then we need to say #ChallengeAccepted and start breaking down all stereotypes.”

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