Reports: Four-team Women's T20 Challenge likely; IND-SA series in the works

Reports: Four-team Women's T20 Challenge likely; IND-SA series in the works
In what comes as surprising news, Board of Control for Cricket in India President Sourav Ganguly confirmed to Press Trust of India that a four-team Women's T20 Challenge is "very much on" and will most likely be held between 1-10 November in the United Arab Emirates. The announcement thus ends any speculation regarding the board's plans for the women's team.

It is understood that the camp for the tournament will be scheduled in October.

"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 ahead of the IPL Governing Council meeting later on Sunday (August 2).

Earlier, a four-team women's IPL style tournament was meant to be conducted in Jaipur during the men's IPL knockouts. However, COVID-19 forced the tournament to be postponed indefinitely.

India were then scheduled to tour England in June, but that tour too had to be rescheduled. There were talks of a potential tri-series also involving South Africa in September, but late last month Clare Connor confirmed that India would be unable to travel due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

BCCI's decision came up for a great deal of criticism with several former players saying the popularity of the women's game would take a nose dive. However, Ganguly confirmed that the board has a plan in the works and are looking to arrange a camp for the centrally contracted players soon.

"We couldn't have exposed any of our cricketers - be it male or female to health risk. It would have been dangerous," Ganguly said. "The NCA also remained shut because of COVID-19. But we have a plan in place and we will have a camp for women, I can tell you that," he added.

The news of a potential Women's T20 Challenge aside, it is also learnt that the Indian team is likely to play a series against South Africa in October. After the IPL, a tour to West Indies is in the works, following which India will travel to Australia for a bi-lateral series ahead of the World Cup next year.

An official announcement is awaited.