With the inaugural edition of the Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) all set to be held next year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is considering having five teams as well as permitting five overseas players in a playing XI.

A report by Cricbuzz website states that apart from these two, the tentative window for Women’s IPL is March 2023 – which is after the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa from February 10-26 and before the start of Men’s IPL.

“A maximum of four of the overseas players in the XI can be from the ICC Full Member nations, it’s being considered, whereas the remaining one can be from an Associate Nation,” said the report.

In terms of the naming of teams in Women’s IPL, the report said the BCCI is yet to decide between zone-wise or the team-wise format, which is used in Men’s IPL, and a final decision on teams as well as venues will be taken by IPL chairman and office-bearers in the BCCI.

“Zone wise – North (Dharamsala/Jammu), South (Kochi/Vizag), Central (Indore/Nagpur/Raipur), East (Ranchi/Cuttack), North East (Guwahati) and West (Pune/Rajkot) – with matches held at non-IPL venues) and existing city-wise like with Men’s IPL (Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata – with matches held at IPL venues),” added the report.

As far as format is concerned, teams may play each other twice in the league stage, which will be of just 20 matches. The team at the top of the table could qualify directly for the final while the second and third-placed teams will be playing an Eliminator.

The Women’s IPL could take place in a caravan format, with all matches played in one city before going completely to another venue. The format was used in IPL 2021 before the Covid-19 outbreak brought the tournament to halt and was moved to UAE for completion in September-October that year.

“With only 20 league games in consideration, as few as two venues will be involved per season for the WIPL. So the inaugural 2023 season could be played at two of the aforementioned venues, the 2024 season at the other two and 2025 at the remaining one plus one of the venues of the 2023 season,” concluded the report.

(with IANS inputs)

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By Dipak

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