Australian captain Meg Lanning says the next "big step" in women's cricket is if an Indian Premier League can be established.
The Australian side will have a break when its three-match one-day series concludes against New Zealand at the Junction Oval on Sunday but, for several players, a series of exhibition matches beckons in the IPL.
Meg Lanning (right) is looking for an Australian clean sweep against New Zealand.Credit:AAP
The most lucrative domestic Twenty20 tournament for men staged a one-off exhibition match for the women last year at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai but there are plans this year to intersperse matches during the finals of the men's competition.
One report in the Indian media said there were plans for either a two-or-three team competition over seven to 10 days but there was not yet enough commercial support, nor the depth in Indian women's cricket, for a fully fledged competition, such as Australia's Women's Big Bash League.
Lanning, arguably the world's best batter, took part in the exhibition clash last year, where the Trailblazers, featuring Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney, were beaten by the Supernovas, including Lanning and Ellyse Perry.
"It was a lot of fun. We only, obviously, played the one game last time. I am not too sure what the set up would be this time if there was one but, from the response we got last time, everyone is keen to do it," Lanning said on Saturday.
"I would certainly love to be involved in something like that. The next big step for women's cricket is if an IPL could get up – it's certainly an exciting prospect."
An official from the Board of Control for Cricket in India told the Press Trust of India last week: "Logistically and even considering the players’ pool we have, the best-of-three games between two teams seems a lot more doable than forming three teams.
"The quality of the competition can’t be compromised and that is one of the reasons why a women’s IPL can’t be organised at the moment."
Lanning's immediate focus, however, is on guiding Australia to a 3-0 series sweep of New Zealand.
The home side claimed victory in Perth and Adelaide and is seeking to end a superb four months – including a World Twenty20 title – on a fitting note in the Rose Bowl finale in Melbourne at the Junction Oval.
Their victories have come despite scores of just six and three from Lanning, although she was in rich form heading into the series, posting a century for Victoria and a record 244 off 145 balls for Box Hill in club cricket.
"I would like to make some runs. That's the plan. Obviously, the first couple of games haven't quite gone as I would have liked but the great thing for our team is that different people have stepped up at different times," Lanning, who averages 51.19 in 79 ODIs, said.
"I have been working hard at training, making sure I am ready to go."
The Australians maintained their 20-year dominance of the Silver Ferns by confirming a series victory in Adelaide when all-rounder Perry cracked a maiden one-day international century and spinner Jess Jonassen took 5-27.
The Junction Oval is generally a batter-friendly deck and that's likely to again be the case.
Lanning said the home side understood the importance of ending the summer strongly.
"It would be a little disappointing if we didn't play well and that was the end point of the summer. We are looking to, hopefully, play our best game of the series. I think we have played good in patches but probably haven't put the full game together. That's what we are looking to do," she said.
"We feel as a batting unit we have had some good patches – we probably have left a few runs out there in both of of our games. Hopefully, we can get off to a good start in the top order and we know we have a very strong middle to late order as well."
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Nicola Carey, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Elyse Villani, Georgia Wareham.
New Zealand squad: Amy Satterthwaite (c), Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine, Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Hayley Jensen, Leigh Kasperek, Amelia Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin, Katie Perkins, Anna Peterson, Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu.
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