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March 10, 2010
England medium-pacer Isa Guha has called for the setting up of a tournament similar to the IPL for the women's game. "I am following the IPL," Guha told ESPNStar.com. "I think it would be great for the women's game, creating more competition and showcasing the world's best players from different countries. It would also be a stepping-stone to women's cricket becoming professional."
Guha believed there was trickle-down effect from the men's Twenty20 approach which had changed the mindset of women's players as well. "I think you see in the men's game more hard hitting and bigger shots, which is becoming regular to some extent in the women's games too," Guha said. "In Twenty20, because of the pace of the game, everyone is constantly involved in the field, you have to work as a team covering each other, there's no time to take your eye off the ball.
"This is something we do really well as a team in Twenty20 and one-day games. It's also great to watch Twenty20, it's fast and exciting, I think it's a really good way to get more people."
Guha has played a major part in the team's success at the international level ever since making her debut in an ODI against Scotland in August 2001. She has been part of two World Cup winning squads, having featurred in England's victorious ODI and Twenty20 campaigns last year.
"I think our success has been down to hard work and being well prepared," Guha said. "Back in 2005, we lost in the semi-final of the World Cup and that was a great learning curve for the team. It gave us a goal and even more of a hunger to win the World Cup, so we went away and set ourselves a long-term plan to do it.
"There has also been more focus on the development of women's cricket over the last few years, which has helped to raise the profile of the game and give more opportunities with competitions like the Super 4s," Guha said.
England women recently ended their tour of India, losing the five-match ODI series 2-3 but winning the Twenty20 encounters 2-1. Guha, 24, who is a student of biochemistry, believed striking a balance between her studies and the game had helped her perform consistently at the international level.
"I have to plan everything well and be organised," Guha said. "I prioritise different things at different times, so when a cricket tour is coming up, cricket takes priority. But then there are times when I need to focus on my studies. I think it's good to have a balance."
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