Sourav Ganguly: Women's T20 Challenge during IPL 'very much on'

India's top women players could also be in action soon, during the men's IPL BCCI

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday said the women's IPL or the Women's T20 Challenge, as it is better known, is "very much on".

The men's IPL will be held between September 19 and November 10 in the UAE due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in India. The women's T20 matches will also be fit into the schedule, according to Ganguly.

"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 said.

The BCCI president, who is awaiting a Supreme Court verdict on waiver of the cooling-off period to continue in the position, did not divulge details but another senior official privy to the development said that the women's T20 matches will be held during the last phase of IPL, like last year.

"The women's Challenger series is likely to be held between November 1-10 and there could be a camp before that," the source said.

A BCCI release later in the evening stated that the Women's T20 Challenge would also take place alongside the IPL, featuring three teams playing four matches during the final week of the tournament.

Ganguly also said that the centrally-contracted women players will have a camp which has been delayed due to the prevailing situation in the country.

"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."

The BCCI's cricket operations team is chalking up a schedule where India Women are likely to have two full-fledged white-ball series against South Africa and West Indies before playing the ODI World Cup in New Zealand next year.

With the WBBL scheduled to run between October 17 and November 29 in Australia, it remains to be seen how the authorities will manage the participation of several Indian and foreign players.