Ending weeks of speculation about the future of women's Indian Premier League (IPL), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Sunday, August 2, said that the women's IPL or the T20 challenger series is 'very much on'.
"I can confirm to you that the women's IPL is very much on and we do have a plan in place for the national team also," Ganguly told PTI.
The BCCI President was talking to the media ahead of the IPL Governing Council meeting later in the day.
While the final dates are yet to be fixed, the men's IPL will be held between September 19 and November 8 or 10 in the UAE due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in India.
"Women's IPL will definitely happen and women's cricket is as much a priority for the BCCI. We will add a team and make it with 4 teams," Ganguly told India Today.
"It will be played between 1-10 November. The idea is to have a full fledged tournament down the line once things improve. We will also do a camp for the women players and ensure they are properly prepared for the tournament," the BCCI President added.
He added that the centrally contracted women players will have a camp, which has been delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
"We couldn't have exposed any of our cricketers -- be it male or female to health risk. It would have been dangerous," he said.
Ganguly's surprise announcement was welcomed by top Indian cricketers and fans alike.
"This is excellent news . Our ODI World Cup campaign to finally kick start . A big thank you to @SGanguly99 @BCCI @JayShah and thank you @BoriaMajumdar for your support to women's cricket," tweeted Indian cricketer Mithali Raj.
This is excellent news . Our ODI World Cup campaign to finally kick start . A big thank you to @SGanguly99 @BCCI @JayShah and thank you @BoriaMajumdar for your support to women's cricket . https://t.co/JpJSMGapzV— Mithali Raj (@M_Raj03) August 2, 2020
Meanwhile, Jhulan Goswami said, "Glad to know that @BCCI & Dada have taken such important decisions for the development & upliftment of women's cricket. Can't wait to get back on the field. Special thanks to @BoriaMajumdar da from my side."
Glad to know that @BCCI & Dada have taken such important decisions for the development & upliftment of women's cricket. Can't wait to get back on the field. 👍🏼 @SGanguly99 @BCCIWomen @mandhana_smriti @ImHarmanpreet @M_Raj03 @IPL— Jhulan Goswami (@JhulanG10) August 2, 2020
Special thanks to @BoriaMajumdar da from my side. https://t.co/a3DjEZrzZt
Since the T20 World Cup final in March, the Indian women's cricket team has not played any matches. With the proposed tour of England for a tri-series also getting cancelled, Ganguly's latest announcement eased concerns regarding the team's game-time before the ODI World Cup in February-March next year.