The women’s domestic season, which usually runs from November to April, has been pushed forward by a month. The senior women’s season for 2022–23 will now begin with a T20 competition on 11 October, and end with an inter-regional one-day competition in February next year.
Notably, the BCCI has been organizing the Women’s T20 Challenge since 2018, with a gap in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many prominent players from outside India participate in the three-team competition. However, the demand for a bigger competition on the lines of the men’s IPL has been growing for some time.
In February this year, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had said that the women’s IPL will be held in 2023.
“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,” Ganguly had said.
Later, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had also hinted at a five- or six-team tournament, saying, “I am thrilled with the response from the stakeholders. Several current IPL teams have inquired and there is serious interest in owning the WIPL. Expressed Franchise.”
Even several owners of IPL men’s teams have publicly expressed interest in owning a women’s team. While the current IPL franchises are being given the first right of refusal to buy teams, they are yet to hear from the board officially, said a report in ESPNcricinfo.
The BCCI is expected to discuss matters related to the women’s IPL at its Annual General Meeting in September and much of the planning around the tournament will be around the sale of media rights.
The enthusiasm for women’s cricket in India and the expansion of the women’s IPL has seen a phenomenal increase in recent years, following a string of good performances by the Indian team at global events.
And, the recent culmination of a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games by the Indian women’s cricket team in Birmingham has only increased the demand.
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