A new breakthrough for women’s sport. Reuters reports that the Board of Indian Cricket (BCCI), the country’s governing body for the sport, officially launched its tender for the ownership and team exploitation rights of the first ever women’s professional league, the Indian Premier League (IPL), on Tuesday 3 January. It follows a tender opened last month by the BCCI for the league’s media rights for the period 2023-27. The first season of the women’s IPL is scheduled to be played from March 3 to 26, 2023. India already has a top domestic women’s competition, the Women’s T20 Challenge. It has been held annually since 2018 alongside the men’s IPL, but has only three teams. To gradually close the gender gap, the BCCI has decided to introduce an expanded women’s tournament with more teams and players. India will join three Commonwealth countries where women’s cricket already has a major tournament or league: Australia with the Women’s Big Bash League, a national T20 league, New Zealand with the Women’s Super Smash, and England with The Hundred tournament.
— Published 4 January 2023