Several sources in the Board have confirmed to Sportstar that the tournament is likely to be played soon after the Women’s T20 World Cup ends in February and is likely to continue until the men’s IPL begins in the final week of March or first week of April.
With the Women’s T20 World Cup expected to get over on February 26, the Board ideally wants to start the tournament right after that. However, the logistics are being worked on.
“We are looking to start in (late) February next year. As of now, that’s the window we are looking at,” a BCCI official said.
“We also need to look at the travel plans for the players who will be featuring in the Women’s T20 World Cup and then take a call accordingly on the exact date. But we are definitely looking at a late February-March window…”
To begin with, it could be possibly be a four or six-team affair with some of the top men’s IPL franchises likely to bag the franchises.
As a prelude to the men’s IPL, the inaugural edition of the tournament could be played across cities, but it is yet to be finalised.
“Of course, there are several factors that needed to be weighed in. A formal approval needs to be taken in the Annual General Meeting…” a Board insider stated.
Earlier this year, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had told Sportstar that the women’s IPL will be held next year and indicated that several franchises had shown interest in owning teams. Even the franchises like Rajasthan Royals and Chennai Super Kings indicated that they would be keen on owning a women’s IPL team as and when the tournament gets a go-ahead.
This time around, the Board has also tweaked its women’s cricket domestic schedule. According to the itinerary issued by the BCCI, the season set to begin on October 11 with T20 competition and end in February 2023 with an inter-zonal ODI competition.
“The Board is in talks with all the stakeholders and we want to ensure that we put up a successful tournament,” an insider said. Even some of the franchise officials told this publication that there have been informal talks with the Board representatives in the recent past, but “there is no official communication yet…”
The Board has been organising a women’s T20 Challenge since 2018 and it is expected that the preparation for the inaugural edition of the WIPL will gain pace after the BCCI AGM, likely to be held next month.