The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has set aside a window for the first edition of the Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) in March 2023 and the process to bring the show on the road is underway, according to board chairman Sourav. Ganguly.
According to ESPNCricinfo, the board has changed its women’s domestic cricket calendar to make room for the women’s IPL. The women’s season, which normally runs from November to April, has been pushed forward by a month, with the season starting with a T20 competition on 11 October and ending with an inter-regional ODI in February 2023.
The BCCI has been organizing the Women’s T20 Challenge since 2018. What started as a one-time exhibition match between two teams in the first season is now a three-team competition. Many players from outside India have also participated in this competition. But despite this, there has been a demand among players and fans for a bigger competition like men’s IPL for some time now.
Earlier in February this year, Ganguly had said that the women’s IPL would be held next year. “We are at the stage of building a full-fledged WIPL. It is definitely going to happen. I firmly believe that next year i.e. 2023 will be a very good time to start a full women’s IPL which will be as big and for men. Great success in the form of IPL.”
The Knight Riders Group, owners of IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals and Barbados Royals, have expressed their interest in joining the tournament and owning a women’s IPL team. The inaugural edition of the Women’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which is due later this year along with the men’s tournament, will feature three teams, including the Knight Riders Group-owned Trinbago Knight Riders.
The BCCI is expected to discuss matters related to the women’s IPL at the annual general meeting to be held in September this year. Much of the planning around the tournament will be around the sale of its media rights.
Owing to India’s improvement and impressive performances in major ICC events in recent years, the enthusiasm for women’s cricket in India has been never seen before. The latest in these displays was the Women in Blue winning a silver medal at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.
Moreover, senior Indian players like Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and former India captain Mithali Raj have been supporting the idea of women’s IPL. Raj actually expressed his desire to come out of retirement to participate in the tournament.
“I am keeping that option open. I haven’t decided yet. There are a few more months left for the women’s IPL to happen. It would be great to be a part of the first edition of the women’s IPL,” she said. On ICC’s 100% Cricket podcast in July.
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