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The BCCI to introduce a five-team in women’s IPL in March 2023



Women's IPL

The long-awaited women’s IPL is likely to begin next year, with the BCCI planning a five-team competition for March 2023, immediately after the conclusion of the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa on February 26.

The BCCI’s planned schedule includes 22 matches, with each team consisting of 18 players, with a maximum of six from overseas. A playing XI can only include five foreign players, four from Full Member nations and one from an Associate country.

According to the blueprint, which the BCCI submitted to state associations on Thursday and which Sportsloop has seen, each side would play each other twice during the league phase (20 matches), with the league winner advancing directly to the final.

The second finalist will be determined via an Eliminator between the league’s second and third-ranked clubs. The BCCI has still to finalize the WIPL schedule, but it will be completed before the men’s IPL begins, which is expected at the end of March.

It remains to be seen whether the March window has been penciled in for the long term, although the BCCI stated in a report on the WIPL that it had found a “clear 25 days Women’s IPL window in the FTP cycle.” The debut season of the Women’s Pakistan Super League is anticipated to conflict with the inaugural season of the WIPL. “It will be difficult to play the WIPL under the home and away format because with five to six teams, it is not viable to have a match every day,” the BCCI stated in a report provided to states as part of the board’s annual general meeting agenda in Mumbai on October 18.”It is proposed that the tournament be played in a caravan format, with the first 10 matches played at one location and the next ten matches played at the next.”As a result, 10 matches will be contested over two venues in the 2023 WIPL season, ten matches in the next two locations in the 2024 season, and ten matches in the remaining one venue and ten in one of the venues from the 2023 season in the 2025 season.”

Women's IPL
Trailblazers – Smriti Mandhana, Supernova – Harmanpreet Kaur and Velocity – Deepti Sharma

Where will the teams come from?

The BCCI will sell the five franchises, as opposed to the Women’s T20 Challenge, which assembled teams at random. Unlike the men’s IPL, where franchises bid for teams in specific cities, the BCCI has two proposals for the WIPL.

The first consists of selling teams spread throughout six zones around the country. Dharamshala/Jammu (North zone), Pune/Rajkot (West), Indore/Nagpur/Raipur (Central), Ranchi/Cuttack (East), Kochi/Visakhapatnam (South), and Guwahati have been shortlisted (North-East).

The second strategy involves selling teams but not establishing a firm home base, with matches held at six shortlisted IPL venues: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai.

The BCCI will present the WIPL plan at the AGM next week, but the final decision will be made by the IPL Governing Council chairman, who will be determined at the AGM, together with the BCCI office bearers.

What’s the reason behind Women’s IPL ?

Women’s cricket in India has been a hot topic since they reached the final of the ODI World Cup in 2017 at Lord’s, where they were defeated by England in front of a packed house. The BCCI launched the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2018, although it was limited to just one match. It grew to a three-team competition over the next three years. Women’s cricketers in India and throughout the world were unhappy of the BCCI’s decision not to introduce a women’s IPL at the time.

The limited player pool in women’s cricket first worried the board and some state organizations, but those concerns have gradually faded.

“With the rise in popularity of women’s cricket in the country, primarily due to prominent performances by the Indian Senior Cricket team on the world stage by qualifying for semi-finals in the 2018 T20 World Cup, finals in the 2020 T20 World Cup, and securing silver medal in the recently held 2022 Commonwealth games in Birmingham,” the BCCI stated in its WIPL paper.

The WIPL and the projected WPSL will join the Forbreak Invitational, Women’s Hundred, WCPL, and WBBL as T20 leagues that increase the popularity and growth of women’s cricket throughout the world. The WIPL document also said that the BCCI had evaluated both the WBBL and the Women’s Hundred models before finalizing its strategy.


1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli’s Cricket Legacy




1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli's Cricket Legacy

On Thursday, November 2, Virat Kohli achieved an accomplishment. He became the batsman to surpass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023, following in the footsteps of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Not that,. He also joined Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Pathum Nissanka as the fourth players to achieve this impressive record in the 50-over format within the same year.

Stepping into History with 1000 Runs in ODIs

Virat Kohli celebrating 1000 Runs in ODIs with a jump on the field

Entering the realm of history, Kohli’s unwavering determination and exceptional skills were put on display during his match in 2023. Notably, the cricket maestro, now 34 years old, made an indelible impact by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s record, securing the most number of years with 1000 runs in ODIs. Kohli’s consistent ability to perform at such an exceptional level has been a defining characteristic of his illustrious career, as he had previously achieved this monumental milestone in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019, before accomplishing it once again in the present year of 2023.

An Unforgettable Journey

In an intense World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka at the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Virat Kohli’s pursuit of this historic milestone was realized with an impressive 34 runs. Despite facing challenges, including a rare duck against England at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, his overall performance throughout the year has been nothing short of spectacular.

Kohli’s memorable journey was highlighted by an unbeaten century during India’s triumphant seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Adding to his illustrious record, he solidified his stature with a brilliant 95 runs, making a significant contribution to India’s thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand led by Tom Latham at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Pune.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets




Shah Afridi celebrating a wicket

Shaheen Shah Afridi, on Tuesday, October 31, achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the third fastest bowler to secure 100 wickets in ODIs. His outstanding performance during Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at the renowned Eden Gardens in Kolkata led to this historic accomplishment.

A Landmark Moment

In the thrilling encounter, Shaheen clinched his 100th wicket in only his 51st match, dismissing Tigers’ opening batter Tanzid Hasan Tamim. The left-arm fast bowler displayed exceptional skill as he struck Tamim on the pads, prompting the on-field umpire to raise his finger. Despite Tamim’s referral to the third umpire using the Decision Review System (DRS), the replays confirmed the ball crashing into the stumps, upholding the on-field decision. Bangladesh lost their first wicket with the scoreboard reading 0 in just 0.5 overs.

Surpassing Preceding Records

Shaheen Shah Afridi not only secured this feat in record time but also outshone the accomplishments of esteemed bowlers preceding him. He surpassed the record of the fastest pacer, previously held by Mitchell Starc, who attained the milestone in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Legacy of Excellence

Moreover, Shaheen shattered the long-standing record held by Saqlain Mushtaq, becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs. Saqlain had set this record on May 12, 1997, during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Gwalior. It is notable that among the Pakistani fast bowlers, the accomplished Shaheen Shah Afridi follows in the footsteps of the legendary Waqar Younis, who achieved the 100-wicket mark back in February 1993 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah.

Beyond ODIs

Demonstrating his prowess beyond ODIs, Shaheen has made significant contributions in Tests and T20Is as well. Since his debut in 2018, he has garnered 105 wickets in Tests and 64 wickets in T20Is. His exceptional journey began with a strong performance in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Notably, he played a pivotal role in Lahore Qalandars’ consecutive victories in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

A Testament to Talent and Dedication

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s rapid rise to 100 ODI wickets within 51 matches underlines his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport. As he continues to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide. With his remarkable achievements, Afridi has solidified his place in the annals of cricket history, etching his name as one of Pakistan’s most formidable and promising fast bowlers.

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ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’




Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistani fast bowler

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has recently expressed admiration for India’s dominant performance in the ongoing 2023 ICC World Cup. With India securing victories in all six matches, Akhtar highlighted the team’s exceptional display across various aspects of the game. Although the recent batting performance against England in Lucknow was relatively modest, India’s fierce bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, proved instrumental in securing a remarkable win. This triumph not only solidified India’s leading position on the points table but also exacerbated England’s struggles in the tournament, leaving them virtually eliminated.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah laughing together on the field

India’s Remarkable Bowling Transformation

In his analysis, Akhtar emphasized the transformative impact of Shami’s inclusion in India’s playing eleven following Hardik Pandya’s injury. Acknowledging Shami’s outstanding performances against New Zealand and England, Akhtar credited India’s ability to win matches through their bowling prowess, showcasing a shift from their traditional reliance on batting strength. He commended the collective effort of the Indian bowling unit, particularly recognizing the strategic brilliance of fast bowler Bumrah.

The Indian cricket team is standing for the national anthem at the ICC World Cup

India’s Path to World Cup Glory

Looking ahead, Akhtar voiced his confidence in India’s potential to secure their third ODI World Cup trophy, highlighting the team’s upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Expressing optimism, he emphasized the significance of maintaining their unbeaten streak en route to the final, setting the stage for a potential historic ICC World Cup victory. However, Akhtar cautioned against compromising the successful bowling unit once Pandya returns to full fitness, warning against the potential detriment of a partially fit Pandya’s inclusion at the expense of a bowler.

Akhtar’s Praise for India and its Response to Criticism

Addressing skepticism surrounding his praise for the Indian team, Akhtar reiterated the exceptional nature of India’s performance, particularly in their ability to defend a modest total with a significant margin of victory. Undeterred by criticism, Akhtar reaffirmed his admiration for India’s exceptional cricketing prowess, urging acknowledgment and appreciation of their commendable achievements.

Virat Kohli gives a hand gesture on the field during a match

Shoaib Akhtar’s Perspective on Virat Kohli

Shifting focus, Akhtar’s history of praise extends beyond team performances to individual players, notably including former Indian team captain Virat Kohli. Reminiscing on Kohli’s resilience during a challenging phase in his career, Akhtar highlighted the pivotal role played by Kohli’s consistent century-scoring performances, leading to India’s victories. Recognizing Kohli’s contribution to the team’s success, Akhtar emphasized the significance of Kohli’s monumental centuries during crucial chases, solidifying his status as a crucial asset for the Indian cricket team.

In a comparison between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Akhtar acknowledged Tendulkar’s status as one of the greatest batsmen while highlighting the challenges Tendulkar faced as a captain. Drawing parallels, Akhtar expressed confidence in Kohli’s eventual resurgence, expecting him to return to his prolific scoring form once he finds his equilibrium.

In summary, Akhtar’s acknowledgment of India’s exceptional performance and his recognition of individual players’ contributions underscore the team’s formidable presence in the 2023 ICC World Cup, setting the stage for a potential historic triumph in the coming days.

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