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Women's Cricket

Spurt of T20 leagues in women's cricket marks start of 2023/24 season

The domestic season in women's cricket has started with the Senior Women's T20 Trophy this week. But even before that, this year saw the emergence of many new league-format tournaments.

Spurt of T20 leagues in womens cricket marks start of 2023/24 season

The 2023/24 Senior Women's T20 Trophy began on Thursday (Twitter/JemimahRodrigues)


Krithika Venkatesan

Updated: 20 Oct 2023 7:58 AM GMT

The various state teams in India have turned their focus to the T20 tournaments modelled on the Women's Premier League as they prepare for the 2023-24 edition of the WPL.

The domestic season in women's cricket has started with the Senior Women's T20 Trophy from October 19 to October 31. The knock-outs will take place from November 3 to November 9 in Raipur.

The influence of Women's Premier League

The Women's Premier League (WPL) is certainly one of the reasons for the emergence of this new league-format tournament.

Earlier this year, Goa organized a proper WPL-like Premier League with five teams. The tournament witnessed an auction as well, and there were more than 150 players registered. Each team featured three outstation players and had international players, including Shikha Pandey and Anuja Patil.

Currently, in September alone, there were three T20 tournaments taking place around India. All of them even had live streaming on Fancode, while Uttarakhand Premier League had a television broadcast on DD Sports.

Kerala's Pink T20 Challengers

Kerala is one of the states to have organised a T20 league even before the start of the WPL. This is the fourth edition of the tournament featuring seniors and U19 players from Kerala. The tournament features five teams, Emerald, Sapphire, Amber, Pearl and Ruby.

Kerala's most experienced players - Sajana Sajeevan, Akshaya, and Jincy George - were all part of the tournament. Indian internationals like Arundati Reddy featured in the recent edition.

Minnu Mani, who captained the side that went on to win the tournament in 2021 and 2022, missed this season because of national duty.

Apart from the regular senior team and U19 players, the tournament also provided opportunities for young players. Sreya Siju, who played for the U15 Kerala team in 2022, was one of the standouts of the season. Notably, the young wicket-keeper was named the best young player for her academy Athreya Cricket Academy recently.

Also, in April, Kerala also witnessed the launch of a new T20 tournament, the Comrade Kodiyeri Balakrishna Memorial 1st All Kerala Women's Tournament. The tournament had eight teams separated into two groups.

Chhattisgarh Women's Invitational T20 Cup

In the first of its kind, Chhattisgarh Cricket Association has organized an official Invitational T20 Cup featuring teams from neighbouring states Chandigarh, Odisha, Goa, and Vidarbha. The tournament had six teams. Players from Chhattisgarh will compete as two teams, Red and Blue.

National players and WPL players from the teams, including Shikha Pandey, Maduri Mehta, Komal Zanzad, and Disha Kasat were in action.

Goa and Vidarbha faced off in the final of the tournament. Vidarbha’s Bharti Fulmali scored a half-century in the final and helped the team to lift the trophy.

Uttarakhand Premier League

Uttarakhand Premier League is yet another newly launched Premier League which took place in September. The tournament featured five teams and will have international players like Punam Raut, Mansi Joshi and Ekta Bisht. Jasia Akhter was the stand-out performer and her team even ended as the champions.

Trials and camps

While a few states have started their own league, others are organizing multiple camps ahead of the season.

The players for the camps are being selected through multiple trial matches. In Andhra, the association has organized different age-group selection matches, followed by matches between different zones.

In states like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Odisha, selection matches were conducted amongst different age groups.

On the other hand, Chhattisgarh has sent their under-19 team to play against local teams in Andhra. Also, U19 teams of Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala featured in the warm-up tri-series.

Pondicherry, on the other hand, is practising alongside their boys' team of different age groups. Notably, the Pondicherry team played T10 as well as T20 tournaments earlier this year.

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