The Women’s Premier League (WPL) will be played in the home-away format from the next edition onwards with a bigger window, most likely during Diwali, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said on Friday
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating having a Diwali window for the Women’s Premier League (WPL), the maiden edition of which ended last month. The festival season for the league means it could clash with the home international matches but the BCCI is wanting to have a gap between the IPL and WPL.
Five days after WPL concluded on March 26 this year, the IPL had started. The BCCI also will introduce the IPL’s home and away format which could not be held this year due to want of time. “We are mulling the possibility of scheduling the WPL, in the home and away format, in the Diwali window; not two seasons in a year but just a different time window,” Jay Shah said on Friday.
The introduction of the home and away format for the five-team WPL is because the BCCI believes in the existence of a dedicated audience for women’s cricket. “Women’s cricket now has a dedicated audience base and this number will only keep growing as we expect an encouraging turnout at the next WPL,” the BCCI secretary further said while interacting with journalists in Mumbai on Friday (April 14).
According to him, the first edition of the WPL was quite a success having garnered a cumulative reach of 50.78 million audiences. “The RCB vs MI was the most watched game with a TVR of 0.41 among all India urban + rural, male + female, 15+ audience. The Gujarat Giants vs RCB match was the second most viewed match with 0.4 TVR,” Shah revealed, quoting the BARC data.
hile Shah had earlier made it clear that India will not travel to Pakistan to play the Asia Cup, he also said that feedback from other nations have been sought on a possible replacement venue.
“We are awaiting feedback from other nations to finalise the venue for the 2023 Asia Cup and clarity on the India-Pakistan match,” Shah added.
Under Shah’s leadership, the Asian Cricket Council has earned USD 26.2 million.
“We have achieved a historic milestone of generating additional revenue for the ACC, creating new avenues of income such as NFT, Hybrid Graphics, and Pathway Tournament rights.
“This has resulted in a record-breaking 26.2 million USD earned. This incredible milestone was achieved by creating, exploring, and monetizing new opportunities. This goes to show that the ACC is doing a great job of innovating and expanding its reach in the global market,” Shah added.
On the World Cup fixture, Shah said that all existing infrastructure will be upgraded before the World Cup.
“All existing infrastructure in the country will be upgraded before the World Cup.”
On the proposed new NCA, Shah said: “I will be travelling to NCA Bangalore to take stock of progress of the National Centre of Excellence.”
The new NCA will have about 40 pitches with 20 having floodlight facility, a 16,000 square feet gymnasium and a host of other world-class facilities including a residential block to ensure all-round holistic development.
The Board has already secured land on lease from KIADB for a period of 99 years. The new NCA will be a Centre of Excellence which will be ready in July-August 2024.
“Another major development has been the approval of a third international cricket stadium set to be built in Uttar Pradesh (Varanasi),” Shah said.
He also informed that refurbished NCA’s infrastructure will be all inclusive and will ensure access for the specially-abled.
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The WPL has seen the emergence of uncapped domestic players like Shreyanka Patil and Kanika Ahuja (Royal Challengers Bangalore). Jintimani Kalita, and Saika Ishaque (Mumbai Indians), also grabbed the attention with their consistent performance. “The WPL 2023 bears testimony to BCCI’s capability to pull off a first of its kind event, aided by the continued growth trajectory that women’s cricket in India is on,” Shah said.
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