Top-flight players from Australia and New Zealand will miss the tournament this year.
India’s Women cricketers are likely to be back on the field soon. The third edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge is expected to be played from November 4 to November 9 alongside the playoffs of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). A total of four matches will be played between three teams during this period. Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas have won both the previous editions and Velocity and Trailblazers are yet to win the trophy.
Rather, in 2018, it was only a solitary game that was played between Supernovas and Trailblazers led by Harmanpreet and Smriti Mandhana respectively. The third team Velocity, led by Mithali Raj, was added last year and they ended up playing the final against the eventual winners. This year, the BCCI was planning to extend the tournament a bit but the COVID-19 pandemic halted their plans.
However, the four-match tournament is set to go ahead from November 4 according to a report in ESPNCricinfo. But the BCCI is yet to come up with a format announcement on the same. It is also understood that the BCCI is busy finalising the overseas players while the newly-appointed selection panel is preparing a pool of Indian participants for Women’s T20 Challenge.
The competition is set to clash with the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) starting on October 21. This makes it certain that the top Women players will not be available to feature. The top-flight players from England, Australia and New Zealand are unlikely to play in the Women’s T20 Challenge. At least two England players in Natalie Sciver and Katherine Brunt will miss as they are the part of Melbourne Stars for WBBL.
However, rest of the England players and cricketers from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are expected to be part of the tournament.
All Women cricketers will be in same hotel for quarantine
Meanwhile, the SOPs will remain intact even for the Women’s T20 Challenge. All the three squads (Indian and overseas players) will arrive in the UAE in the third week of October and would be in the same hotel which will be part of a bio-secure bubble. The players will undergo a six-day quarantine with COVID tests to be conducted on the first, third and fifth days.
If their results turn out to be negative, then they will be allowed to enter the bubble and train with their respective teams. It is also reported that every team will be allowed only four training sessions ahead of the tournament.