WIPL to begin with 20 matches across 2 venues; uncertainty on teams

As per reports, the BCCI is planning to host the inaugural edition of the Women’s IPL early next year, with 20 matches to be played across two venues.
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The first edition of WIPL is likely to be played in March 2023.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is looking forward to hosting the much awaited first edition of the Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL) early next year. March 2023 has been looked at as a tentative window, which succeeds the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa and precedes the Men’s IPL. 

 As per a Cricbuzz report, the governing body is considering a five-team competition with 20 matches to be played in all, and as many as five overseas players shall be allowed in the playing XI, contrary to the cap of four in the men’s competition. A maximum of four overseas players in the XI can be from the ICC Full Member nations, while one from an Associate nation.

The BCCI is also considering one of the two options for selling the teams: the first, zone wise - - North (Dharamsala/Jammu), South (Kochi/Vizag), Central (Indore/Nagpur/Raipur), East (Ranchi/Cuttack), North East (Guwahati) and West (Pune/Rajkot) - with matches to be played at non-IPL venues. The second option is that of having a similar one to the existing city-wise model at the Men’s IPL - Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata - with matches to be played at IPL venues.

Each of the five teams will play the other four twice in the league stage, with the topper to qualify directly to the final. The teams to finish second and third will face off in the Eliminator.

India Women’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur had stressed on the importance of WIPL earlier this year, stressing how it could help the Women’s game evolve in the country.

"I think women’s IPL can be a big turning point for us. Our players do get opportunities to play overseas leagues. I feel domestic players will get a great platform in women’s IPL,” Kaur has stated after India Women’s Silver medal finish at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.

"We have talented women’s cricketers in the country but many of them don’t have the experience of the big stages. Women’s IPL will be a great platform for them.”