Watch: Smriti Mandhana's epic reaction to journalist's 'Women's IPL coming next year' question
After BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had admitted earlier this year that a Women's IPL will be held in 2023, the board has now reportedly earmarked a window for the much-awaited competition in March 2023.
Cricket fans across the globe and more so the cricketers themselves have long awaited for the Women's IPL. India cricket stars and also overseas players have over time voiced their opinion on a bigger tournament that the present three-team annual competition held as Women's T20 Challenge. But after BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had admitted earlier this year that a Women's IPL will be held in 2023, the board has now reportedly earmarked a window for the much-awaited competition in March 2023. But star India batter Smriti Mandhana gave an epic reaction after a journalist posed a 'Women's IPL coming next year' question.
It was after the Women's Hundred match between Oval Invincibles and Southern Brave at the Kennington Oval. Mandhana had scored a fiery 25-ball 46 in Southern Brave Women's 12-run win.
After the game, a journalist asked, “With the Women's IPL coming next year, can we expect the same kind of enthusiasm back at home as well?”
Mandhana's reaction was simply epic as soon as the reporter mentioned Women's IPL before she replied to the question saying, “I think whenever we play there is lot of enthusiasm back home irrespective of the format. Indian fans love cricket and they turn up to support us regardless of one-day or T20. So Women's IPL will be great.”
Since 2018, the BCCI have so far staged a Women's T20 Challenge. It was a one-off exhibition match in ianugural year and has been a three-team annual affair since then with 2021 being the only year of its absence owing to Covid-19 restrictions. Despite a small competition, Women's T20 Challenge has been embraced by a lot many overseas stars. But with clamour to have a full-fledged IPL for women cricketers getting louder by the day, Ganguly and BCCI secretary Jay Shah have hinted at a Women's IPL in 2023.
"We are at the level of formulation to have a full-fledged WIPL. It is certainly going to happen," Ganguly had said. "I strongly believe that next year i.e. 2023 will be a very good time to start a full-fledged women's IPL which will be as big and grand a success as men's IPL."
Later in May, Jay Shah told PTI, "I am thrilled at the kind of response we have got from stakeholders. Multiple existing IPL teams have enquired and expressed serious interest in owning WIPL franchises."