BCCI plans to start women’s IPL early next year, president Ganguly tells state units

The Board has already earmarked the February-March window for next year’s WIPL and a formal go-ahead is expected after the Annual General Meeting next month.

File image of Sourav Ganguly.

File image of Sourav Ganguly. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The Board has already earmarked the February-March window for next year’s WIPL and a formal go-ahead is expected after the Annual General Meeting next month.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has informed the state units that the Board plans to start Women’s IPL (WIPL) early next year.

In an email to state units, which  Sportstar has seen, Ganguly has written, “The BCCI is currently working in the much-awaited women’s IPL. We are expecting to start the first season early next year.”

The Board has already earmarked the February-March window for next year’s WIPL and a formal go-ahead is expected after the Annual General Meeting next month.

In an interview to this publication in June, Ganguly had said that from 2023, the men’s IPL will go back to the home and away format with 10 teams playing at their designated venues. In his letter to the state units, Ganguly echoed similar sentiments. “The next season of men’s IPL will also go back to the home and away format with all the 10 teams playing their home matches at their designated venues,” Ganguly wrote.

The Indian women’s team will also host World Champion Australia for a five-match T20I series in December this year, however, the fixtures are yet to be revealed. “The Indian men’s senior team will be playing against Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the home international series. The Indian women’s senior team will be playing against Australia,” Ganguly wrote in his letter.

A pathway

This time, the Board will also host the first-ever U-15 girls tournament - keeping the U-19 World Cup and future ICC events in mind. “We are glad to introduce a girls u-15 tournament from this season. Women’s cricket has seen phenomenal growth across the world and our national team has been performing well. This new tournament will create a pathway for our girls to play at the international level,” Ganguly wrote.

He also stressed on the domestic season, and insisted that the Board plans to conduct a full season this time around. “The Indian cricketing season 2022-23 has started, and I’m happy to share with you that we’re going back to normalcy. You must be aware that this year, we’ll be having the usual full-fledged domestic season for all age groups and the games will be hosted all over the country. It’s really heartening to see the support that the BCCI has received from all its members over the past few years. I’m sure the pandemic is behind us, and we all now look forward to a certain future,” Ganguly wrote in his email.

The BCCI’s Annual General Meeting is expected to be held in the third week of October and even though the latest Supreme Court ruling allows the current office-bearers to continue for another term, there seems to be some suspense over whether Ganguly will continue as the president for another term. There are speculations that Jay Shah could emerge as the front-runner for the role, while Ganguly might move to the International Cricket Council. However, neither Ganguly nor Shah have spoken on the issue yet.  

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