The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to introduce the Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL) from next year.
In its circular, sent ahead of its annual general meeting in Mumbai on October 18, the BCCI said women’s cricket is growing in popularity in the country – largely due to outstanding performances by the Indian senior cricket team on the world stage in qualifying for the semifinals at the 2018 T20 World Cup and the finals at the 2020 T20 World Cup and securing the silver medal at the recent Commonwealth Games – the Board now intends to run the Women’s IPL in a similar fashion to the Indian Premier League.
League Stage surpassed ✅
— BCCI Women (@BCCIWomen) October 13, 2022
Most recently, the Indian team bravely marched into the final of the Commonwealth Games T20 tournament, defeating England and delivering full houses in Edgbaston. They eventually lost to Australia but remained one of the most popular teams in the competition, with Smriti Mandhana, Harmanpreet Kaur and Pacer Renuka Singh getting the crowd cheering for the team.
The Board felt that three successful editions of BCCI’s Women’s T20 Challenge and Indian players’ participation in WBBL and The Hundred were the other factors contributing to the popularity of women’s cricket.
In a circular accessed by The Indian Express, the Indian Board has decided to have five teams for this WIPL.
“In order to have a good balance between domestic and international players and to have competitive teams, it was tentatively decided to have five teams for WIPL. Each team can consist of a maximum of eighteen players, with no team having more than six foreign players. In addition, no more than five foreign players – four from full members of the ICC and one from the associate members of the ICC – may be part of each team’s playing character,” the statement said.
Venues without an IPL are an option
The BCCI has revealed two ways to sell the team in WIPL.
“Non-IPL Venues: Unlike IPL, where teams represent a specific city, WIPL allows teams to be zoned and games to be held in non-IPL venues,” the circular reads.
In non-IPL venues, the BCCI has retained five zones. North: Dharamshala / Jammu, West: Pune / Rajkot. Central: Indore / Raipur / Nagpur. East: Ranchi / Cuttack. South: Kochi/Vizag and Northeast: Guwahati.
The second option is to hold matches in IPL venues, with Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata being suggested.
The statement further adds: “Each team plays the other twice during the season. The team that finishes at the top of the table after the end of the league games goes straight to the finals, while the team that finishes second and third plays the eliminator after the end of the regular season. The winner of the elimination competition qualifies for the final.”
There are 22 matches played in WIPL, consisting of 20 league matches, an elimination match, followed by the final.
The BCCI is eyeing a window in March after the ICC Women’s T20 World 2023, which is scheduled to take place in South Africa from February 9th to 26th.
“Like IPL, it will be challenging to play WIPL in a home-away format because with five to six teams it’s not possible to have a game every day. It is suggested that the tournament can be played caravan style, with after the completion of ten games at one venue, the next ten games being played at the next venue. Therefore, in the 2023 WIPL season, ten games will be played at two venues each, in the 2024 and 2025 seasons ten each at the next two venues, from the 2023 season ten games at one remaining venue and ten at one of the venues. the circular closes.