On Wednesday, the BCCI President, Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the Women’s T20 Challenge will be held in May this year. Women’s T20 Challenge, which is also referred to as the Women’s IPL, commenced from 2018 and after being conducted successfully in 2018, 2019, and 2020, the tournament was called off in 2021, due to India’s tour of Australia during the same period.
The Women’s T20 Challenge will be held this year and it will be played during the IPL playoffs in May. Scheduling the Women’s T20 Challenge during the IPL playoffs will help the women’s tournament generate more viewership as well as coverage. In 2021, when women’s Hundred was played alongside men’s Hundred, it attracted a good viewership, so something similar can be expected going into this year’s IPL and Women’s T20 Challenge. The fixtures and the venue for the Women’s T20 Challenge have not yet been decided.
After India’s dream run in the ICC Women’s World T20, there were talks around having a full-fledged women’s IPL just like the men’s IPL. However, in an interview with SportStar, Ganguly stated that women’s IPL could be a thing for the future and this year there will only be the Women’s T20 Challenge, which has seen three teams participating.
The three teams that take part in the Women’s T20 Challenge are Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity. Supernovas led by Harmanpreet Kaur have won twice and Trailblazers led by Smriti Mandhana have won once. A total of 45 players participate in the tournament each year, including foreign players from West Indies, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Thailand. The latest edition was played in 2020 in the UAE and saw a total of four matches being played. Every team played two matches and the top two teams out of the three teams played the final.
Apart from the Women’s T20 Challenge being scheduled in May this year, there is some good news for Indian domestic women’s cricket as Ganguly has confirmed that the senior women’s T20 league which was to happen in February this year will resume soon. The domestic women’s T20 competition was postponed due to the increasing COVID-19/Omicron cases.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.