The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) plans to host exhibition matches for women cricketers during the eighth season of the Pakistan Super League. Reports suggest that the PCB is looking at September-October as the possible window to host the first-ever women’s franchise league but before the full-fledged tournament gets underway, they would want to host a set of trial matches during men’s PSL 8 to get an idea of how it will pan out.
The squads for the exhibition games will be announced shortly. Pakistan had 12 centrally contracted women’s players but now have 20 and to fill the other players’ slot, they will have to go back to their domestic cricket ecosystem and hunt their talented players and through the U-19 World Cup as well, they can find the required players.
The logistics of the league was discussed during the governing body’s meeting that took place on Thursday. If sources are to be believed, three teams including the likes of Karachi Kings and Lahore Qalandars will form the women’s teams for these exhibition matches and the franchises are believed to bear all the expenses. The plan to have a full-fledged women’s league was being discussed for quite some time and the idea is to have four to six teams square it off against each other. Additionally, the teams will be sold out via the open bidding process.
Initially, the PCB under Ramiz Raja had announced the Women’s League as a four-team affair with 12 games scheduled and each team to have 18 players and six international players. The league was to coincide with the men’s PSL and the finals a day before the PSL finals and was supposed to be held between the months of January and February. Considering the weight thrown by the BCCI to organize the maiden Women’s IPL that is scheduled to kickstart in March, a lot of cricketing bodies are standing up and taking notice clearing their schedules to pave the way for this league. Even the inaugural FTP for women’s cricket made space in the calendar for the league which shows how influential WIPL can potentially be. Nonetheless, as women’s cricket fans, we have a lot to be excited about as a plethora of fascinating tournaments await us!
I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.