What makes Women’s T20 Challenge 2020 so special?

With the last league game of the men’s IPL being played today, it has been a terrific one and a half month of entertainment. To add more fizz to the entertainment serum, there is Women’s IPL coming up starting November 4.


L-R: Simran Bahadur and Priya Punia. PC: Sharjah Cricket / Twitter
L-R: Simran Bahadur and Priya Punia. PC: Sharjah Cricket / Twitter


The third edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge, also known as Women’s IPL, is ready to set the stage on fire as the three teams, namely, Supernovas, Trailblazers, and Velocity, will lock horns against each other between November 4 and November 9. All the matches will be played at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium in UAE. Here the boundaries are small, so expect some fireworks. Playing one match each against one another in a round robin format, the top two teams will make their way into the finals.

This pandemic has been a boon in disguise for the women cricketers as they will get the opportunity to play the tournament on foreign soil. Over the last couple of years, the matches were played in India, and that too on a single venue. In 2018, there was just a solitary match between Trailblazers and Supernovas in Mumbai, and in 2019, with the addition of Velocity, a total of four matches were played, all at Jaipur.

This edition of Women’s T20 Challenge will definitely grab many eyeballs, courtesy of the grand success of Women’s World T20 held early this year. After recording a jaw-dropping number of spectators for the World T20 final that was played on March 8 between India and Australia at the MCG, it is expected that this chapter of women’s cricket will be nothing less than a hit.

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The news of Reliance Jio being the title sponsor has done a world of good for the tournament. With big money coming in, it is fair to say, that this is just the beginning of something big that is likely to happen in the near future.

Just like the men’s IPL, the women’s IPL will be nothing less than a culturally melting pot, in which, players from across the globe participate in the highly anticipated contest. Over the last couple of years, the tournament has enjoyed legions of fans. With the likes of Sri Lankan veteran Chamari Atapattu, Thailand’s young Natthakan Chantham, England’s Sophie Ecclestone, who is the numero uno T20 bowler, West Indies’ Deandra Dottin, a swashbuckling bat, and many more international stars, there is seldom any doubt that the coming week is going to be a cricketing extravaganza. Along with the top international cricketers, the competition will see good Indian domestic players at the forefront. They will look to make the most of this big stage and will look to go out all guns blazing. This tournament has dual benefits. First, it helps to increase the popularity of women’s cricket, and second, it aids in unearthing domestic talent.

The fact that the women’s IPL is squeezed in between the men’s IPL will give an easy virtual footfall to the event. India players like Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, and many more have become household names, thanks to their stellar performances over the last three years, especially in the ICC tournaments.

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This year, Star Sports along with Hotstar who are the official broadcasters of the Men’s IPL will telecast the Women’s T20 Challenge. Finally, the dream to play in front of big crowds will be realized for many budding women cricketers, no matter, even if this time it is a virtual crowd.

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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.

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