BCCI to Introduce a Full-fledged Women’s IPL in 2023: Sourav Ganguly

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly in an interview with PTI on Friday hinted that the board is planning for a full-fledged Women’s IPL. He also mentioned that he strongly believes 2023 will be a good time for starting off this tournament which will be as grand as Men’s IPL.

“We are at the level of formulation to have a full-fledged WIPL. It is certainly going to happen,” Ganguly told PTI on Friday. “I strongly believe that next year i.e. 2023 will be a very good time to start a full-fledged women’s IPL which will be as big and grand a success as men’s IPL.”

BCCI has been hosting the Women’s T20 Challenge since 2018. In 2019, it was expanded to a three-team tournament wherein three teams – IPL Trailblazers, IPL Supernovas and IPL Velocity face each other in a round-robin format.

The Women’s T20 League was postponed in 2020 due to the Covid19 threat and held in Sharjah with the rearranged Men’s IPL. However, in 2021, it was not held even though BCCi organized Men’s IPL in two phases amid the Covid19 upsurge.

After India finished as runners-up against England in the ODI World Cup 2017 and then second-best to Australia at the T20 World Cup in 2020, there has not been much attention given to the women’s game in the country. Indian women cricketers like Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana have voiced the need for the introduction of the Women’s IPL but BCCI did not take any6 proactive initiatives.

According to the BCCI, India’s domestic circuit does not hold the depth required to make Women’s IPL a worthwhile tournament. In 2019, BCCI President Ganguly suggested that a seven-team tournament could see light in 2023. “You need a lot more women players. I see that in four years’ time, to get a seven-team IPL with the best women players [in participation],” he had said.

Meanwhile, Ganguly confirmed that the BCCI will organize the Women’s T20 League alongside IPL 2022 playoffs in May. “The Women’s T20 Challenge will again be back this year in the month of May. Hopefully, in the future, we will be able to host a bigger women’s IPL once the number of women players goes up. But this year, the Women’s T20 Challenge will happen during the IPL playoffs,” said Ganguly.

He also added that the domestic season of women’s cricket will take place in a month once the Covid19 situation comes under control. “We have time for the Cooch Behar Trophy. Let this COVID settle down a bit, we can hold it because it is just at the knockout stage and only a few matches are pending. We can do it in April-May.”

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