Women’s Indian Premier League to Start ‘Soon’

The Women’s T20 Challenge, also known as the Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL), is an annual Indian women’s T20 cricket tournament that has been held since 2018.

Women’s T20 Challenge Background History

The women’s IPL idea was suggested after the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup, where the India women’s national cricket team ended as second.

The tournament was 1st introduced in the year 2018, as a single match held in Mumbai prior to one of the men’s matches. The match featured teams such as IPL Supernovas & IPL Trailblazers.

In 2019, the Women’s T20 Challenge was 3 team tournaments instead of a 1-off match, with a new team called IPL Velocity competing along with the IPL Supernovas & IPL Trailblazers, in a round-robin format with the top 2 teams progressing to the final.

The 2020 event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and held in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE), alongside the rearranged men’s IPL.

In November 2020, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly suggested an expansion of the Women’s T20 Challenge to 7 or 8 teams in the year 2022. There were suggestions of adding a 4th team for the 2021 season, but this was decided against due to the COVID-19. The 2021 event was postponed along with the men’s IPL.

Women’s T20 Challenge

Countries  India
Administrator BCCI
Format Women’s T20
First edition 2018
Latest edition 2020
Tournament format Round-robin and final
Total teams 3
Current champion IPL Trailblazers (1st title)
Most successful IPL Supernovas (2 titles)

Women’s Indian Premier League to Start ‘Soon’, Says BCCI Secretary Jay Shah

A women’s IPL could begin as early as next year, with the Indian cricket board (BCCI) saying it is working on delivering the tournament “soon”.

A 3-team Women’s T20 Challenge is staged alongside the men’s IPL, but many believe women deserve their own expanded tournament with more teams & players.

The Women’s T20 Challenge will continue this year, but BCCI secretary Jay Shah said

I want to assure you that BCCI is not only sincere but is taking all necessary steps to start a full-fledged women’s league similar to the IPL soon,” Shah told Reuters in an email.

The huge interest among fans and players towards the women’s T20 Challenge is an encouraging sign and we are all committed to making it happen.” The entire 2020 edition of the league and the second half of last year’s tournament were held in the United Arab Emirates as India grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s IPL will begin in the last week of March and Shah was confident of staging the 10-team league in India.

“The circumstances were different in the last couple of years, and we managed to keep the show going under difficult circumstances by shifting it to the UAE. The BCCI is keeping a close watch on the COVID-19 situation in the country and if it is conducive, we will stage the event in India this year and I am pretty hopeful about that.

Women’s Indian Premier League to Start ‘Soon’

Expanding the game

The board would take a “wait and watch approach” on the presence of spectators, depending on COVID-19 guidelines, he said.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja has mooted an annual T20 tournament also featuring India, Australia & England.

Expanding the game was more crucial than such a “commercial initiative”, Shah said.

With the IPL window expanding and the ICC (global) events every year in the cycle, our primary responsibility is to safeguard bilateral cricket at home, with emphasis on test cricket,” he added.

I am also looking forward to seeing cricket at the Olympics, as that will help the game grow.

Expansion of the sport is a challenge that our game faces and we must priorities it over any short-term commercial initiative.

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