The Indian cricket board has decided to host the third edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge in the United Arab Emirates from November 1-10.
After the Governing Council meeting on Sunday, it was decided that the tournament will feature three teams, who will play four matches.
The decision ends the uncertainty around the event amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Yes, it will (happen),” Sourav Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), told Sportstar.
Incidentally, Sportstar was the first publication to report about this possibility. Indian Premier League (IPL) Governing Council chairman Brijesh Patel had confirmed last week that the council would discuss the women’s tournament on Sunday.
The team will train at a camp in October, and play against South Africa prior to the tournament, according to sources privy to the board’s decisions. After the Women's T20 Challenge, the Indian team will take on the West Indies. The schedule for the matches against South Africa and West Indies are yet to be announced.
The Indian team has not played cricket since March, when it participated in the final of the T20 World Cup. “The players have been out of action for nearly six months, so they will take some time to attain match fitness. Even though they are doing individual training, it would take a few weeks to get things in place,” said a source aware of the plans.
The Challenge tournament’s schedule clashes with the Women’s Big Bash League – slated to be played between October 17 and November 29 – and chances are high that most of the Australian players will miss out on the action. Also, there is a possibility that the number of Indian and Asian players in the tournament will increase. “It’s too early to talk about anything. We are assessing the situation and will take a call accordingly,” said the source.
The women cricketers are likely to reach the UAE in the third or fourth week of October, follow the protocols laid out in view of Covid-19 and stay inside the bubble.
It is not yet clear where the matches will be held. A decision is expected within the next few days, once the schedule of the tournament is finalised.
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