BCCI Apex Council member and former India captain Shantha Rangaswamy on Monday said the board’s decision to organize Women’s T20 Challenge during the IPL shows that it remains committed to the game. She hoped it would lead to a full-fledged Women’s IPL in the near future.Also Read - Sourav Ganguly on Virat Kohli's Sacking as Team India ODI Captain: BCCI Requested Him Not to Step Down as T20I Skipper

The BCCI had received criticism for withdrawing the Indian women’s team from a tri-series in England in September at a time when it was gearing up for the IPL, scheduled from September 19-November 10 in the UAE. The India players have not played since the T20 World Cup final in March. Also Read - Smriti Mandhana Ideal Choice to Replace Mithali Raj's as India Women's Cricket Team Captain: Shantha Rangaswamy

“Those who were predicting doomsday for women’s cricket, I want to say to them BCCI is interested in promoting women’s cricket and I would like to thank Brijesh Patel (IPL Chairman), president (Sourav Ganguly) and secretary (Jay Shah) for making this possible in these tough times,” Shantha told PTI. Also Read - Virat Kohli Announcing Birth of Daughter Vamika Most Liked Tweet of Year 2021; Pat Cummins' Heart-Warming Gesture With COVID-19 Donation Most Retweeted

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BCCI had announced that the Women’s T20 Challenge will have four teams, one more than last year.

“It was supposed to be a four-team event this year but the venue change has made the task much tougher. I am happy that it is happening and hopefully will lead to a franchise-based tournament like the IPL in the near future,” she said.

The Women’s T20 Challenge is clashing with the Big Bash League in Australia and star Australian player Alyssa Healy has questioned the timing of the event.

“We are going through unprecedented times and the board has done the best it could in the current scenario,” Shantha added.