Sports

Franchise Cricket Could Be Affecting Women's Game: England Skipper Heather Knight

England women are currently on a white-ball tour of the Caribbean with the last match of the five-T20I series scheduled on Friday.

Several England players, including Knight, have taken breaks to cope with the crowded schedule.
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England captain Heather Knight has pitched for more investment in international cricket at a time when franchise leagues are mushrooming, stating that the women's game could get affected because of the changing landscape. (More Cricket News)

England women are currently on a white-ball tour of the Caribbean with the last match of the five-T20I series scheduled in Bridgetown on Friday. The visitors, after taking the ODI series 3-0, are leading the T20I series 4-0.

"There's a lot of change on the horizon with franchise competitions kicking off and I think it's really important that international cricket is looked after and is strong in all countries and is still the pinnacle of the game," Knight said ahead of the final T20I here.

With the Women's Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) being launched in August this year and two more leagues -- Women's Indian Premier League and Pakistan's four-team women's T20 league -- scheduled to commence next year, Knight felt female cricketers, like several of their male counterparts, could accept more lucrative offers to play franchise cricket.

"You see the changes happening in the men's game and in the women's game, it could affect things more if people decide to go down the franchise route and play less cricket for more money with the differences in professionalism around the world and the differences in some teams in the depth because of the domestic leagues, she said. 

"A little reminder, I think, that international cricket needs to be invested in."

Due to smaller pool of players in the women's game, it has led to several players in countries like Australia, England and New Zealand taking breaks for mental health well-being, and Knight said they are learning to cope with the new environment.

Several England players, including Knight, have taken breaks to cope with the crowded schedule. 

"As players, it's such a different landscape than we've been used to previously with all the franchise competitions starting," she said.

"We're really learning how to manage ourselves physically and mentally, being able to find those little windows where you might work on your physical and mental health and find ways to get away from the game, so when you are in it you're fit and firing," added Knight.

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