BCCI set to launch five-team women’s IPL in March 2023

- The proposed plan involves a total of 22 matches, with a maximum of five overseas players in each XI

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The long-awaited women’s IPL is set to become a reality next year with the BCCI planning a five-team tournament for March 2023, immediately after the Women’s T20 World Cup ends in South Africa on February 26.

The BCCI’s proposed plan involves a total of 22 matches, with each squad comprising 18 players with a maximum of six from overseas. No more than five overseas players can feature in a playing XI, with four from Full Member countries and one from an Associate nation.

As per the plan, which the BCCI sent on Thursday to state associations and which has been seen by ESPNcricinfo, each team will play the others twice during the league phase (20 matches), with the league topper heading straight to the final.

The second finalist will be decided via an Eliminator between the second and third-ranked teams from the league phase. The BCCI is yet to finalise the schedule of the WIPL, but it will be wrapped up before the men’s IPL begins, which is likely to be at the end of March.

Whether the March window has been pencilled in for the long-term remains to be seen, but the BCCI said in a paper on the WIPL that it has identified a “clear 25 days Women’s IPL window in the FTP cycle“.

The inaugural WIPL is likely to clash with the inaugural season of the Women’s Pakistan Super League.

“It will be a challenge to play the WIPL in the home and away format, because with five to six teams it is not possible to have a match every day,” the BCCI said in its paper on the WIPL, which was sent to the states as part of the wider agenda for the board’s annual general meeting scheduled in Mumbai on October 18.

“It is suggested that the tournament can be played in caravan style, where after finishing ten matches at one venue, the next ten matches to be played at the next venue. Therefore, ten matches each to be played across two venues in the 2023 WIPL season, ten each in the next two venues in the 2024 season, and for the 2025 season ten matches in the remaining one venue and the remaining ten in one of the venues from 2023 season.” (ESPNcricinfo)

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