BCCI Joint Secretary Jay Shah, during a presser with the journalists in Mumbai today, said, “We are mulling the possibility of scheduling the WPL, in the home and away format, in the Diwali window; not two seasons in a year but just a different time window.”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating the option of staging the Women’s Premier League (WPL) over a winter season as they aim to engage larger audience. According to Joint Secretary Jay Shah, the initial edition, which was played in March 2023, might eventually be expanded to a home-away format. The premier event might be held during the Hindu festival of Diwali if the WPL is moved to the winter window.
The IPL had begun five days after the WPL, which wrapped up on March 26 this year. The IPL’s home and away format, which was unable to be held this year owing to lack of time, will also be introduced by the BCCI. The Board thinks there is a loyal following for women’s cricket too, which is why they introduced the home and away structure for the five-team WPL.
“Women’s cricket now has a dedicated audience base and this number will only keep growing as we expect an encouraging turnout at the next WPL,” he added.
After Mumbai Indians defeated Delhi Capitals in the WPL’s inaugural season’s final game in March this year, the league had tremendous success. All games were played in Mumbai at the Brabourne Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium, wherein Harmanpreet Kaur’s army defeated Delhi in a lopsided encounter.
He said that the initial iteration of the WPL was a great success, reaching a total of 50.78 million viewers. He said that the initial iteration of the WPL was a great success, reaching a total of 50.78 million viewers.
The reason for which many local uncapped domestic players who lack international experience have emerged in the WPL, like Shreyanka Patil and Kanika Ahuja of Royal Challengers Bangalore. With their steady performances, Mumbai Indians’ Jintimani Kalita and Saika Ishaque also garnered attention.
Later in the year, there may be a slim chance that the WPL Second Edition will be played during Diwali. One of the primary factors behind this is the ODI World Cup, which occurs later in the year from October 5 to November 19. The ODI World Cup will take place the same week as Diwali, which further eliminates the prospect of the tournament taking place in 2023.
Shah also addressed the media rights agreement for the Indian squad, as there will be a meeting in June and July. The agreement will most likely be finalized by the board before Afghanistan, but it will most likely take effect beginning with the Australia series later in the year, just before the ODI World Cup.
He further noted, “The BCCI Media Rights tender will be on schedule this year (June-July) and will depend on the Afghanistan tour, but more likely, the process will start from the Australia series. The Board will speak to all stakeholders concerned and will come up with an interim decision.”
“The WPL 2023 bears testimony to BCCI’s capability to pull off a first of its kind event, aided by the continued growth trajectory that women’s cricket in India is on,” Shah concluded.