Australia vice-captain and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy has said that the emergence of the Women's IPL will put a lot of pressure on other global organisations and countries around the world to promote women's cricket.
"[The Women's IPL] is going to change women's cricket for the better," Healy told ESPNcricinfo in long-ranging conversation during Australia's five-match women's T20I series against India in December.
"It's probably going to put a lot of pressure on other global organisations, or countries around the world, to lift - that's probably the best way that I'll put it. The most exciting thing about it is that it's happening and that there's some buzz around it. It's just going to be great for the game over here in India."
The inaugural edition of the women's competition is likely to be played in March with five teams participating. While the count is yet to be confirmed, at least a dozen business entities including several owners of men's IPL teams, will be participating in the franchise auction for the five Women's IPL teams, organized by the BCCI on January 25.
"When people really are passionate about their [men's] IPL teams here, it's a great thing and hopefully they get behind the women's one too," Healy said. "It's obviously the next step for the game and the opportunity for some players to come over [to India] and play in a world-class tournament, at great grounds, and be very well supported is the next stage of the game."
Viacom 18 won the media rights to telecast the Women's IPL by paying INR 7.09 crore per match for the five years from 2023 to 2027. The teams will be assembled via an auction and the players have a deadline of January 26to register for it. Capped Indian players can set a base price ranging from INR 30 lakh to INR 50 lakh while the uncapped Indian players can set theirs at INR 10 lakh or INR 20 lakh.
Record crowds flocked the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai and then the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai for the bilateral women's T20I series between Australia and India last month, which Healy felt augured well ahead of the launch of the Women's IPL.
"The fact that we've had some great supportive crowds, just in this series alone [is great to see]," she said. "I am really excited by it. I'd absolutely love an opportunity to be able to come over here and be part of a women's IPL, I think it'd be an unbelievable experience.
"It's great to see the BCCI get behind it. And obviously just recently they announced the pay parity as well for the girls. I think it's a great step in the right direction and, and to support a team who, in my mind, is a real sleeping giant in the game, I think they're going to potentially win a lot of world tournaments over the next 10 to 15 years. And now knowing that they're well-supported and well-valued within the organisation will give them that confidence to go and do just that."
Healy has been part of various T20 leagues around the world including the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), the now-defunct Women's Cricket Super League, and The Hundred. She also played in the BCCI-organised Women's T20 Challenge. Healy said leagues such as the WBBL, which has now been around for eight seasons, help players evolve, and that playing against international team-mates forces players to work on their weaknesses more than ever.
"I don't feel like I've approached [the WBBL] too differently to be honest with you," she said. "I still go out there and try and hit first ball for six! Nah, I don't.
"It's been great for our development as cricketers. Being able to play really high-level games more regularly at home, I think it's great for anyone's development. It's not just playing international cricket that's challenging you, it's actually a domestic game that's challenging as well and making you evolve as a player.
"You're playing in domestic leagues, where everybody knows everybody inside and out, they know your strengths or your weaknesses. You're playing against your teammates that you play [alongside] for Australia. So there's no hiding. And I think it's a great opportunity for me personally, to keep developing my skills and try and stay one step ahead of the opposition, and show them some new stuff. So I think in that regard, it's been awesome [and given me] great learnings over the years."
Full interview with Alyssa Healy will be published in the week of January 30.