CA refuse to release its players for Women's T20 Challenge; BCCI accuses it of blackmailing

CA refuse to release its players for Women’s T20 Challenge; BCCI accuses it of blackmailing

A triangular women's cricket series involving Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity will be played between May 6 and 11 in Jaipur

Ellyse Perry
Ellyse Perry of Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

A triangular women’s cricket series will be played between May 6 and 11 in Jaipur to promote women’s cricket even while the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 is on. Three teams — Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity — will be led by three leading ladies of Indian cricket, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Mithali Raj, respectively. Last year, one game was played between the Supernovas and Trailblazers and this year, it has been transformed into a tournament.

However, even as Australia’s male players have continued to join the IPL, the scenario is not the same in the Women’s T20 Challenge. According to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Cricket Australia (CA) has barred its women players from playing the tri-series because of a dispute with the former over a men’s series. The BCCI has even accused its Australian counterpart of resorting to blackmailing tactic.

3 Australian cricketers were barred from joining the tri-series

The Times of India cited reports that said that Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry were set to become top draws in the women’s tournament. But an email from Belinda Clark, a former Australia captain and a top CA official now, hinted that the players were being stopped to put pressure on the BCCI in order to postpone a men’s series.

Australia were supposed to play a three-ODI series against India in January next year, which is during the peak of the Australian summer.

Clark was cited in her email stating that the CA will be in a position to consider the request when the ongoing issue involving the men’s ODI series that was agreed to in the Future Tours Program for late January 2020. The matter is currently being resolved between the CEOs of the BCCI and CA.

The BCCI was not pleased with the mail and one of its senior officials said that it was clear that it was resorting to blackmailing tactics. “Using women players to sort out men’s cricket issue is in bad taste,” the official was quoted as saying.

The BCCI’s IPL operations team had requested the CA to release the three players on April 4 and the email from Clark came the next day.

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