The Women’s International Cricket League (WICL) – a private organisation headed by Lisa Sthalekar and Australian businessman Shaun Martyn – have announced plans to launch an international WT20 competition in either Singapore or Hong Kong in 2016.
The creation of the league could see some of our biggest stars recruited. The likes of Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Alex Blackwell could potentially earn up to $US40,000 in 10 days.
The WICL intend to recruit the top 78 players in the world to play alongside recruits from Nepal, USA, Hong Kong, Thailand, China, Bhutan and Singapore.
Two years in the making, Martyn says the aim is to create a profile for women’s cricket similar to that of women’s golf and tennis.
Martyn: “Everything we do is built around opportunity, education and performance. All the WICL is trying to do is create an opportunity for the women where one doesn’t exist.”
“We have ongoing discussions with the ICC and we’re working closely with boards around the world to ensure they understand what we’re doing. From day one we’ve made it clear we want to work within the system and provide a percentage of our profits to the ICC for the development of the women’s game.”
“They view us with some trepidation because we’re private but the people in our organisation – Lisa, Geoff Lawson, Tony Wright from Oracle (software), myself, Paul Harvey – we’ve all had a long history in cricket and we’re definitely not at a rebel standpoint.”
“I strongly believe we have to create a proper product around women’s cricket. We genuinely believe we can do what’s been done for women’s golf and tennis with cricket because the quality of the athlete, the quality of the human involved, is unbelievable.”
Sthalekar: “We’re proposing a unique, high-performance environment and while we want the best of the best a player from an associate country would play alongside an Ellyse Perry, a Suzie Bates or Charlotte Edwards and that can only be good.”