The Women’s Premier League (WPL), the premier T20 cricket tournament for women in India, is set to return for its second edition from February 22 to March 17, 2023. However, unlike the inaugural edition, which was held across four cities, the upcoming edition will be hosted in a single state, owing to the logistical challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah, who addressed the media after the WPL auction on Saturday. “The tournament will start in February, and in terms of the venues, we will hold it in one state. For us, logistics is very important for us this time around. Next time, we will figure it out,” he said.
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Shah did not disclose the name of the state that will host the WPL matches, but hinted that there were several options available. “We have Bengaluru, Uttar Pradesh. There are so many places where we can host matches. In Gujarat also, we can do it in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and in Vadodara after a few years,” he said.
However, according to sources, Maharashtra is the most likely candidate to host the WPL, as it has three venues in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai and one in Pune, which can accommodate the eight teams and their support staff. Shah said that the final decision will be taken after consulting the franchises. “This is basically a joint call between the franchise and the BCCI. We will sit together and decide…” he said.
Shah also expressed his confidence that the WPL will be more successful than the first edition, which saw Supernovas clinch the title in a thrilling final against Trailblazers. He praised the franchises for investing in uncapped Indian players, who fetched big bids in the auction. “This time, the WPL will be even more successful. The way two uncapped Indian players earned big, it shows how the franchises have gone for Indian players…” he said.
Shah also revealed that the Indian Premier League (IPL), the men’s T20 cricket tournament, will begin in the last week of March and will end in late May, 2023. He said that the BCCI is hopeful of conducting the IPL in India, after the last edition was held in the UAE due to the COVID-19 situation.
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