The first edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) was a huge success. In just a single season, it became the most valuable women’s cricket league, providing a platform for young players, and inspiring many to take up the sport. Seeing the success, the BCCI wants to organize the tournament on a larger scale this year. One aspect they are debating on is to organize the tournament in just one city, like last season, or in multiple cities.
Arun Dhumal, Chairman of the IPL Governing Council, said that discussions over the venue will take place during the WPL auctions when all the office bearers meet. He emphasized how logistics and time will be important considerations while making the decision. “The WPL will be in February, so we will be checking on the venues. Once we meet, most probably during the WPL auctions, we will figure out where it makes more sense to host the tournament, given the logistical challenges and the time available. We will take a call on that” he said.
There is high speculation around the tournament happening in Mumbai and Bangalore. Both cities have a strong fan base for women’s cricket and there were always packed crowds whenever the Mumbai Indians or Royal Challengers Bangalore played last season. It is expected that the tournament will be played in a caravan fashion. Each team will be finishing a set of matches in one city before moving on to the next. However, Dhumal refuted the claims and said that a final decision has not been taken place. He said that a multi-city format will be better for the game but there are challenges to consider before making a decision.
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However, going forward, the plan is to conduct WPL matches in as many venues as possible. Dhumal said, “Definitely, we would want the tournament to go through the geography of the entire country, given the diversity of our country. It’s a great opportunity for all the franchises to engage with the fans through the length and breadth of this country. There are many stadiums and would be phenomenal for fans to engage with women cricketers.” Since a better structure for the tournament is in place now, the BCCI will be working with franchises to have matches in local centers.
The BCCI will be trying its best to ensure that the upcoming seasons are bigger and better. They want to create a high level of competition and increase the interest in women’s cricket. Dhumal said, “For the inaugural season, we had a phenomenal tournament – the viewership through the broadcast and also in-stadia. It was a packed house, so we are hoping that the tournament gets more engagement every season. We are sure, we will have a great tournament, going forward.”
(Quotes sourced from Sportstar)
Vaishnavi is a passionate author with an unwavering love for cricket, particularly women’s cricket. Her writing reflects her deep admiration for the sport and her dedication to promoting women’s participation in it. When she’s not following the latest cricket matches, Vaishnavi can be found engrossed in books or enjoying movies.