IPL 2018 saw an all-star women’s T20 game being played between teams captained by Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur. The match was played at the Wankhede Stadium before a game featuring Mumbai Indians. This was done to see whether a women’s IPL tournament was feasible or not.
The BCCI has gone one step ahead this year, IPL 2019 will see BCCI organizing a three-team women’s tournament after the end of the league stage of the tournament. And the matches will be played during the Indian Premier League 2019 playoffs.
Timings, venues of the Women’s T20 triangular matches
Last year, we saw some of the best women’s cricketers in Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney, Danielle Wyatt, Ellyse Perry, Lea Tahuhu and Meg Lanning participate in the one-off Women’s T20 Challenge match. However, this year, the BCCI plans to invite some more stars like Dane van Niekerk, Deandra Dottin, Marizanne Kapp, and Chamari Athapaththu to the matches.
The games are supposed to be played at the same venues hosting the playoffs to avoid logistical issues and the games will begin at 4 pm. Each team will face each other once, and the top two will qualify for the final set to be played in Chennai on May 12. Chennai, Hyderabad, and Visakhapatnam are being considered as the venues for these games.
There will be three squads of 14 players each involved in the tournament. This bodes well for the Indian women cricketers who have been asking for a Women’s IPL tournament on the lines of the Women’s Big Bash League or the Kia Super League, and BCCI is ready to move on from the concept of a single exhibition game towards a small tournament.
This decision to play the women’s triangular T20 tournament was taken after four months’ planning. The exhibition match last year was hampered by the poor turnout as only the fans who had bought tickets for IPL 11’s Qualifier 1 were allowed entry into the stadium. This year the turnout is expected to be better despite the 4 pm start and hot weather.