New Delhi, October 13: The Women's Indian Premier League (WIPL) will start as a five-team tournament next year, following the end of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup on February 26.
According to ESPNCricinfo, the BCCI's proposed plan includes 22 matches, with each squad consisting of 18 players, with a maximum of six overseas players. More than five overseas players cannot be included in a playing XI at the same time, with four from full-member countries and one from an associate team.
On Thursday, the plan was sent to state associations. During the league phase, each team will play each other team twice. The league table winner will advance directly to the final. To determine the second finalist, an eliminator will be held between the second and third-ranked teams from the league stage.
Though the BCCI has not finalised the WIPL schedule, it will conclude before the men's IPL. The men's IPL is expected to begin in March. WIPL is also set to clash with the inaugural season of the Women's Pakistan Super League.
BCCI in the paper on WIPL, which it sent to states as part of the agenda for the board's annual general meeting, which will take place on October 18, said: "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. 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.
The BCCI will sell five franchises for the WIPL. Unlike the men's IPL, in which franchises bid for teams in specific cities, the BCCI has two proposals.
The first plan includes setting sales teams in six zones around the country. Dharamsala/Jammu (North zone), Pune/Rajkot (West), Indore/Nagpur/Raipur (Central), Ranchi/Cuttack (East), Kochi/Visakhapatnam (South), and Guwahati (North-East).
Another option is for teams to be sold without a solid home base, with matches to be held at six shortlisted IPL venues: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
The BCCI will present this proposal at the AGM next week, but the final decision will be made by the IPL Governing Council chairman, who will be elected at the AGM, along with other BCCI office-bearers.