INDIAN PHILANTRHOPHIST Nita Ambani, the chairperson of the Reliance Foundation, non-executive director of ISL stakeholders Reliance Industries, and owner of the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, has given her backing to woman’s cricket in India.
In a press release posted on the ISL website, it was revealed the Reliance Foundation would be one of the sponsors for the upcoming Woman’s T20 Challenge.
Mrs Ambani has also offered the use of Jio Cricket Stadium to conduct trials, camps and host competitive matches for the national team, free of cost, the stadium has a capacity of around 2,000 and has been used by the Maharashtra state team.
Female crickets will also have the use of Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital & Research Centre in Mumbai.
Mrs Ambani, the first Indian woman on the ICC board, explained: “My heartiest congratulations to BCCI for organizing the Women’s T20 Challenge. This is a progressive step towards the growth of women’s cricket in India. I am delighted to offer my full support to this wonderful initiative. I have immense faith in the potential and capabilities of all our sportswomen.”
“Indian women cricketers have made the country proud with their outstanding achievements in ICC events over the last couple of years. Our aim is to ensure that we offer the best of infrastructure, training and rehab facilities to our girls. Players like Anjum (Chopra), Mithali (Raj), Smriti (Mandhana), Harmanpreet (Kaur) and Poonam (Yadav) are great role models. I wish them and every member of the Indian women’s squad even greater success and glory in their journey ahead.”
The Woman’s T20 Challenge begins today with three sides the Supernovas, Trailblazers, and Velocity.
The tournament, like the IPL, will be played in the UAE with Sharjah hosting all four games, three group games and the final.
International stars scheduled to play in the tournament include Shakera Selman (West Indies), Ayabonga Khaka (South Africa), Salma Khatun (Bangladesh), Sophie Eccleston (England), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand) and Jahanara Alam (Bangladesh).
The Indian women’s side grabbed headlines in 2017 when they reached the final of the World Cup but a fine bowling performance in the second innings from Anya Shrubsole secured the title for the English hosts.