WPL will challenge Big Bash as best women’s T20 league: Alyssa Healy

The newly introduced Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India will challenge the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) as the best Twenty20 competition in women’s cricket, Australia’s wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy said.

A full-fledged WPL kicked off on Saturday, 15 years after the launch of the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) for men, and Healy leads UP Warriorz in the five-team tournament.

The WPL is expected to be a game changer for the women’s game after several female cricketers experienced the biggest payday of their careers at the auction, where teams had $1.45 million each to spend on acquiring players.

Reflecting Australia’s dominance in women’s cricket, Healy said the WBBL, an eight-team competition in Australia, would need to ensure it is lucrative enough to attract the best players.

“The WBBL has been the envy of women’s cricket for eight years now, but there’s no denying the WPL will put pressure on our domestic competition,” Healy wrote in her column on Cricket Australia’s website on Wednesday.

“It’s not all about money, but players in the WPL are earning more for a three-week competition than they are playing for their country for 12 months of the year.

“For the WBBL to keep pace with the WPL and retain its status as the best domestic competition in the world, we need to make sure it’s lucrative and exciting enough for the best players to keep making the trip to Australia.” Healy added that Australia needed to start considering franchise cricket as an “entertainment proposition”.

“I feel strongly that the WBBL should be about entertainment: our showpiece competition where fans pack out the hill and watch the best players in the world do battle,” Healy said.

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