Saturday 21 May 2022
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IPL with six women teams to start in 2023

The BCCI wonders whether the existing IPL franchises can be asked if they can have the women's team as well and, if not, outside parties would be invited

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has proposed a six-team women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning 2023. The board decided, at the governing council meeting of the IPL in on 25 March, that all efforts will be made to start a six-team annual Twenty20 (T20) tournament for the women’s cricketers, with first preference being given for the existing IPL franchises. In the current year, however, there will be the normal Women’s Twenty20 Challenge.

The governing council felt, said sources, there was potential for the women’s IPL and it had been encouraged by sponsorship for the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2020. The council members, who have in person for the first time in almost two years, thought aloud whether the existing franchises of the IPL could be asked if they might have the women’s team as well. After that option is exhausted, the BCCI will invite outside parties to own the franchises, sources said.

The BCCI has been under pressure to start the women’s league as there has been a nationwide clamour. The Cricket West Indies (CWI) decided to start a three-team league this year, alongside the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and the neighbouring Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also announced such plans. A top BCCI official recently told Cricbuzz that it is the responsibility of the board to start a women’s league, irrespective of commercial returns from the tournament.

In another important decision, the governing council cleared the media rights tender for the IPL for the cycle of 2023-27. The “Invitation To Tender” (ITT) document will probably be out next Monday or Tuesday. There will be multiple options for the bidding parties and it is learnt that the interested business houses should have a net worth of Rs 1,000 crore.

A governing council member explained the idea of a women’s IPL, saying that the feasibility of the six-team league will be explored in the coming days. “Obviously, running the event alongside the men’s IPL may not be possible. We may have to explore a window first. Besides, the details of the proposed event will be worked out,” a GC member said. He confirmed that this year there would be three teams and four matches during the IPL.

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