India batter Punam Raut feels women's Indian Premier League (WIPL) will not only offer young guns a chance to showcase their skills at the global stage but will also help players who are eyeing to make a comeback in the Indian squad. Raut, who has played 73 ODIs and 35 T20Is for India, also said a tournament such as WIPL will also make players more competitive as they will be playing with international players in the showpiece event.
"Obviously, when we get opportunities to play with international players it increases the excitement of players to play the game and improve further in the game," Raut was quoted as saying by ANI.
"Only 15-20 get a chance to play for India but there are talented players who can compete at the international level. There can be two teams in Indian Railways itself; such is the talent here. But since in India only 20 or 15 can play many talented cricketers miss out on chances."
"If players get to play in a women's IPL and moreover the games get telecasted, it further increases the chances of players getting the recognition," she further said.
"Women's IPL will also help players who want to make a comeback in the squad, like in men's IPL there are many players who didn't play Ranji cricket but made into the Indian squad of the back off good performances in IPL," the 32-year-old cricketer added.
The present women's version of IPL, the 'Women's T20 Challenge' has three teams but Punam Raut said there should be at least six teams to accommodate the talent pool India has got.
"I am not talking about three teams, I feel there should be at least six teams in the women's IPL so that more and more players could get the opportunities through games," Raut said.
Raut had recently set tongues wagging with her decision to walk off even though the umpire hadn't given her out in the one-off pink-ball Test against Australia.
While Raut said it was a decision based on her instincts, she backed her choice by saying there is no point standing at the crease when you know that you are out.
"It happened instinctively. It had never happened to me like this before that umpire gave not out and I had walked out. I thought that the umpire will give out but he gave 'not out'. It was clear knick, so I thought that I should leave the crease hence I walked off," explained Punam Raut.
"When it is out it is out, we should leave the crease. I had the option of staying at the wicket but since it was a clear-out I walked off," she added.
The India batter also revealed that her teammates weren't happy with her decision.
"Nobody was happy with my decision in the team. No team will like to lose the wicket of a set batter, so everyone's reaction for me was on the negative side but I can understand their point too. I just told my teammates, 'it was out so I left my crease'," Punam signed off.