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BCCI plans to start women’s IPL by 2023; Women’s T20 Challenge returns this season


The BCCI is planning to start the women’s IPL by 2023, board president Sourav Ganguly said on Friday, while the Women’s T20 Challenge, comprising four games, makes a return this season after a one-year gap.

The board is planning to have five or six teams in the inaugural edition. All the existing ten men’s IPL franchises will be given the first right of refusal to buy the women’s IPL teams.

It is learnt that at least four men’s IPL franchises are interested in knowing from the BCCI what is on the table in case they want to invest in the WIPL.

“It [the full-fledged women’s IPL] has to be approved by the AGM. We plan to start it by next year hopefully,” Ganguly told reporters after the IPL governing council meeting in Mumbai on Friday.

IPL chairman Brijesh Patel made it clear that this season there would be “four matches involving three women teams around the time of the men’s IPL playoffs”. Pune will be the most likely venue for the women’s games.

According to Patel, there would be five or six teams in the Women’s IPL but again that would need the approval of the general body.

*India Women’s opener Shafali Verma, currently in New Zealand for the World Cup, said on the eve of their last league game: “Of course, it’s being said that there will be a six-team women’s IPL next year, which is a very good thing. All our women players, including the domestic cricketers, will get to learn a lot, which is a very good thing. My favourite IPL team is Mumbai Indians. I love watching them play and get to learn a lot from them.”
South Africa’s Chloe Tryon further gave the examples of the Women’s BBL and the Hundred to say how they needed more such leagues to show their skill.

“It’s fantastic for women’s cricket,” Tryon said on Saturday. “If you’ve looked at how successful the Big Bash has been and the Hundred just coming back into it, we want things like this to happen. We want leagues from around the world. We want to showcase our skill and it’s fantastic to see that there’s six teams now, so I think a lot of people, and not just me, are really eager to want to play there.

“We know how it is to play in India. We know how the crowds are. It’s really good. So I’m really excited to see how that goes. I’ll hopefully want to play; we’ll see see how that goes. But it’s really exciting for women’s cricket. And as you can see this World Cup, it’s bringing a lot of attention and I’m just thankful that they (BCCI) are looking at it and putting women’s cricket on the platform. So it’s really exciting.”

With the second half of the IPL being shifted to the UAE because of the pandemic, the Women’s T20 Challenge was not held last year. However, it was staged in the UAE in 2020 when Trailblazers won the title.

The men’s IPL starts on Saturday with defending champions Chennai Super Kings up against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede Stadium.

*0645 GMT: The story was updated after Shafali Verma and Chloe Tyyon spoke in Christchurch.



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