India to debut women's IPL next year: Reports
NEW DELHI: India is set to inaugurate a five-team women's edition of the Indian Premier League next year to run ahead of the money-spinning Twenty20 tournament, media reports said.
The new competition will be formalised when the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) meets next week, news agency PTI reported on Thursday.
It is tentatively set for March to fit between the next T20 Women's World Cup in South Africa and the start of the next IPL season.
"We intend to conduct the Women's IPL on similar lines with the Indian Premier League," the board reportedly said in a letter sent to state cricket associations.
Media outlets said the letter outlined a proposal for a season of 22 games that capped overseas players to six per team, with only five allowed in the playing XI.
Franchises for five teams will be sold by the BCCI, but a final decision on how they would be allocated and where they will play remained unclear.
"Delighted to see that the #WIPL is on its way," Indian cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote on Twitter.
"This is the beginning of something big and we must all support it."
The board did not respond to AFP's requests for comment.
India's women cricketers have shone in recent years despite being overshadowed by the wildly popular IPL and the exploits of Rohit Sharma's side.
The international team made the finals of the Women's T20 World Cup in 2020 and won silver at this year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Former captain Mithali Raj, the world's leading women's ODI run-scorer, retired from all international formats this year shortly before the release of a Bollywood biopic recounting her 23-year career.
The IPL is a huge earner for Indian cricket and the tournament made more than $11 billion for the economy each year, according to pre-pandemic estimates.