Next WPL likely during Diwali with bigger window: Jay Shah

India also host the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 during Diwali in October-November.

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Mumbai Indians WPL. (Photo Source: Pankaj Nangia/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah has confirmed a home-and-away format for the next edition of the Women's Premier League (WPL) and also revealed that the tournament will be held in 2023 around the Diwali festival period. Shah also added that the tournament will not be a second season of the year 2023 but will be played in a different time window as the next edition.

Diwali will be celebrated on November 12 this year and India also host the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 from October 5 to November 19. Therefore, there is a chance of creating a dedicated window for WPL's next edition just after the Diwali period. 

"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. 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," Jay Shah said during an interaction with media persons on April 14.

The inaugural edition of the WPL was played between five teams playing in 22 matches from March 4 to 26 at just two venues - Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai and Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai. But with IPL returning to a home-and-away format, Dhumal also announced the same format for WPL to further grow women's cricket and to target a new audience. However, he confirmed that the upcoming edition will remain a five-team tournament but said that there is a scope for additional teams in the future.

"Well begun in half done. It has been a great beginning for WPL and going forward, it is going to be much better than what we have see so far. We have started with five teams but going forward there is scope for additional teams given the pool of players that is going to come in the years to follow," Dhumal said on April 5.

India to host Afghanistan for three ODIs in June: Jay Shah

Meanwhile, in another development, the senior men's team is set to host Afghanistan for a three-match ODI series in June in the buildup to the ODI World Cup 2023. The series is expected to start from June 16, following the conclusion of the World Test Championship final, which India will play against Australia at The Oval from June 7.

The series against Afghanistan means that the BCCI will have to find a broadcaster in the interim, with the agreement with Star India having come to an end in March this year, following the home ODI series against Australia.  Shah suggested that the four-year media rights tender is likely to be released in September, when India will host Australia for three ODIs at home, increasing the likelihood of roping in an interim broadcaster for the Afghanistan T20Is.

“The Media Rights tender will be released as per schedule this year (June-July) and will depend on the Afghanistan tour, but more likely the process will start from the Australia series (in September),” Shah said. “The Board will speak to all stakeholders concerned and will come up with an interim decision (for broadcaster).”

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