The fans’ hopes of seeing the likes of Virat Kohli, Harmanpreet Kaur and other male and female stalwarts competing against each other on the field has been dashed by the Committee of Administrators. The Supreme Court-appointed committee has turned down a request from IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to hold a mixed T20 exhibition match. The match would have featured the likes of Virat Kohli, Harmanpreet Kaur and Mithali Raj.
The Royal Challengers was mulling the prospect of conducting the mixed-gender game after the conclusion of the ongoing ICC World Cup. The franchise had already started the promotion for the same with the likes of Kohli, Mithali and Harmanpreet featuring in an eye-catching commercial. The commercial was aired during the IPL, making the fans excited.
However, on Friday, the CoA decided against giving permission. The reason behind the decision was that the BCCI rules do not allow contracted players to be part of exhibition games.
“The RCB had asked for permission for a mixed-gender Twenty20 exhibition match, as part of a campaign launched by Royal Challenge Sports Drink but it is against the BCCI rules. The BCCI doesn’t allow players to be part of exhibition games and that is why the request was turned down,” a BCCI source told The Indian Express.
— Royal Challenge Sports Drink #ChallengeAccepted (@RCGameforLife) April 26, 2019
During this year’ IPL, the franchise was running a campaign titled #ChallengeAccepted in order to make the fans excited. The franchise, however, had not divulged any other detail on the same. In April this year, Kohli had also talked about equality in the game and had promoted Royal Challengers’ campaign, saying:
“Be it men or women, cricket is one game, and I want to urge fans to break the boundaries that exist in their mind that divides the sport by gender. Equality in sports is ultimately a reflection of equality in life, and if we want a better tomorrow, then we need to say #ChallengeAccepted and start breaking down all stereotypes.”