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WPL 2024 will be held in one state in February, says BCCI secretary Jay Shah

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Mumbai, Dec 9 (IANS) The second edition of the Women's Premier League (WPL) will be played in one state in February 2004 because of logistics reason, Jay Shah, honorary secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC) said on Saturday.

The inaugural edition of the WPL was played in two venues in Mumbai -- the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

The second edition could also see something like this though Jay Shah did not commit to that it will again be held in Mumbai.

"It is decided that we will have the tournament in February. As far as the venue is concerned, it will be held in one state only so that it is better logistically — what if we do not get two venues in one city, then we will have two cities," Shah said on the sidelines of the Women's Premier League (WPL) auction here on Saturday.

"Basically it is a joint call between the franchises and the BCCI. We will sit together and we will decide. We will let you know. It will be in one state, that is sure," he said.

Shah said it is better logistically that the event is held in one state.

"We can do it either in Bangalore or Uttar Pradesh. We have so many venues, even in Gujarat, where we have Ahmedabad, Rajkot and after a few years Baroda can build their own stadium," he said, adding that another reason they want to organise in one is the state is because the domestic season is on and events are being held all over the country.

"The domestic season is going on so we will have to see, where the venue is available we will have it. Matches are happening in Gujarat, Chandigarh, Ranchi… it is not the case that we want to organise matches in Mumbai only," he said.

Many players including Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Smriti Mandhana and Gujarat Giants Mentor Mithali Raj had said that they would love to see the franchises hosting their matches. But Shah at this moment this is not feasible and from next year BCCI may consider having multiple venues.

The BCCI secretary expects the second edition of WPL to be more successful than the inaugural one last year.

"It will be more successful this time. The biggest thing that you saw today was that two uncapped players have got such big amounts, especially Indian players. The franchise have shown a lot of interest towards the Indian players which is a big thing," said Shah.

Asked about BCCI's plans to popularise women's cricket, Shah said they are doing that by organising the WPL and making it free for spectators.

"If you recall, we had a tournament in DY Patil Stadium and CCI and we had allowed free entry which gave a lot of encouragement for women’s cricket. We will try to take this forward," he said.

Asked about hiking the pay scale for women's cricketers, such things are decided by the Apex Council of the BCCI and the AGM. He also said that upscaling women's cricketers can't be done by BCCI alone and other countries too will have to play their part.

"All that is decided in our Apex Council and AGM meetings. The number of matches also makes a difference (that the men's and the women’s teams play). And for that every cricket body has to reciprocate, me talking about this alone will not make a difference. The amount of cricket we — (cricket boards of) England, Australia and BCCI are playing — the others will also have to play. That is only when we will be able to increase the number of matches," he said.

--IANS

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