(ESPN Cricinfo) The inaugural season of the Women’s CPL, featuring three teams, is set to run alongside the men’s event this year. Both the CPL and the WCPL are expected to take place within a month-long CPL window that runs from August 30 to September 30. Barbados Royals, Guyana Amazon Warriors and Trinbago Knight Riders will be the three teams taking part in the women’s tournament.
Over the last two seasons, the CPL has been restricted to one host country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Trinidad & Tobago hosting the 2020 edition and St Kitts & Nevis the 2021 edition. According to a CPL media release, the league stage of CPL 2022 will take place across three countries in the Caribbean, with a fourth set to host the final stages.
It is not yet clear what the format of the WCPL will be, and which venues will host it.
In the lead-up to the 2019 CPL final, CWI had hosted two exhibition T10 matches featuring West Indies’ top women cricketers. A CWI statement had then hoped this event would pave the way “for a sustainable women’s league in the future.” The WCPL represents a significant step forward since then.
“Increasing the opportunities for West Indian women and girls to get involved in cricket is one of CWI’s strategic priorities, and we are delighted that we have been able to partner with CPL to further the expansion plans that we had first unveiled in 2019 prior to the arrival of the Covid Pandemic,” Ricky Skerritt, the Cricket West Indies president, said. “We are confident that all CPL women’s games will be highly competitive and will add quality entertainment to our fans in the region and around the world.”
The WCPL becomes the latest T20 league to start a women’s edition. Unlike the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia, the Women’s Hundred in England (which replaced the Women’s Super League) and the Women’s Super Smash in New Zealand, however, it does not feature the same number of teams as its men’s counterpart.
The BCCI has so far staged three editions of the Women’s T20 Challenge, featuring both Indian and overseas players; the first edition was a one-off exhibition match, while the second and third were tournaments featuring three teams playing each other once and the best two meeting again in a final. After a hiatus in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the tournament is set to return during IPL 2022.
The Women’s T20 Challenge, however, is yet to expand into a fully-fledged Women’s IPL, though BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has suggested that its inaugural edition may take place in 2023.
Last November, PCB chairman Ramiz Raja had hinted at a possible Women’s PSL, though no time-frame for the tournament has been revealed yet.