New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will lead the two teams that will play the Women's T20 Challenge game ahead of the Indian Premier League Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the BCCI announced on Tuesday.
The exhibition match will also showcase some of the most talented women cricketers. Leading stars from Australia, New Zealand and England will be in action as they join their Indian counterparts for this match.
Speaking about this T20 Challenge game, Rajeev Shukla, Chairman, IPL, said: "Even as IPL continues to roll like a well-oiled machine, over the last couple of weeks, efforts were made to put in place a similar structure for women cricketers.
"We were in talks with several Boards and I am pleased with the outcome. White Ferns captain Suzie Bates, attacking batter Sophie Devine, who holds the record for fastest half-century in women's T20Is, Australia's fine all-rounder Ellyse Perry, wicket-keeper bat Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Beth Mooney have confirmed their participation. Danni Wyatt and Daniel Hazell will add the English flavour,"
"This special game will be played at Mumbai's iconic Wankhede Stadium and will be telecast live in India and across the world," he added.
Member of Committee of Administrators (CoA) and former India captain Diana Edulji said: "We are excited to announce the first-of-its-kind exhibition match involving our women cricketers. BCCI has been pulling out all stops to promote and nurture women's cricket and this is a small yet significant step towards a prospective league involving women's stars in the future.
"The IPL is the biggest and most popular league in the world and it has been a long-time endeavour to have a women's league that can match the exuberance of IPL.
"Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Veda Krishanmurthy among others rubbing shoulders with foreign stars will be a unique experience and something that we have not witnessed here in India," she added.