The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is thinking about putting the Women’s Premier League (WPL), whose first season ended last month, on hold during Diwali. The league’s holiday season could conflict with home international games, but the BCCI wants there to be a break between the IPL and the WPL.
This year, the WPL ended on March 26 and the IPL began on April 1. The BCCI will also add the home-and-away style to the IPL, which couldn’t be done this year because of lack of time. India will be holding the World Cup in October and November, so it remains to be seen if the Board will be able to hold the WPL during the festival season. This year, Diwali is on November 12.
Jay Shah said on Friday, “We’re thinking about putting the home-and-away format of the WPL in the Diwali window. It wouldn’t be two seasons in a year, just a different time window.”
The five-team WPL will now have a home-and-away format because the BCCI thinks there is a committed audience for women’s cricket. “Women’s cricket now has a dedicated fan base, and we expect this number to keep growing as we expect a good turnout at the next WPL,” the BCCI secretary told reporters in Mumbai on Friday (April 14).
He said that the first WPL was a big success because it reached a total of 50.78 million people. “The most-watched game was RCB vs. MI, which had a TVR of 0.41 among all India’s urban, rural, male, and female 15+ viewers. “According to the BARC data, the Gujarat Giants vs. RCB match was the second most watched match, with 0.4 TVR,” Shah said.
In the WPL, unknown Indian players like Shreyanka Patil and Kanika Ahuja (Royal Challengers Bangalore) have been able to show what they can do. Jintimani Kalita and Saika Ishaque, both of the Mumbai Indians, also caught people’s attention with how well they played. Shah said that the WPL 2023 shows that BCCI is able to pull off a first-of-its-kind event. This is helped by the fact that women’s cricket in India is still growing.