Women's red-ball cricket returns to India's domestic calendar after four years

The Maharashtra Cricket Association will be hosting the tournament which will feature six teams.

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Payal Debnath
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Women's red-ball cricket returns to India's domestic calendar after four years

Women's red-ball cricket will return to India's domestic calendar after four years. Image- Khaleej Times

India's domestic cricket is set to witness a significant revival as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announces the reintroduction of women's red-ball cricket. Scheduled to commence on March 28 in Pune, the Senior Inter Zonal Multi-Day Trophy marks the resurgence of the traditional format after a hiatus of four years.

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Women's red-ball cricket will return to India's domestic calendar after four years. Image- Khaleej Times
Women's red-ball cricket will return to India's domestic calendar after four years. Image- Khaleej Times

The decision follows the resurgence of the Indian women's team in Test cricket, having competed against formidable opponents like Australia and England in recent years. The absence of women's red-ball cricket since 2018 is now being rectified with this initiative.

Former India pacer, Amita Sharma, lauded the move, emphasizing the importance of nurturing talent at the grassroots level. "It is a welcome step taken by BCCI. The national team has started playing Test cricket again and we need the next generation of cricketers to play red ball cricket at the domestic level," Amita remarked, advocating for a broader reach of women's red-ball cricket across state-level competitions.

"I would also want red ball to be played at the state level and not just zonal level. Back in the day we had both those events," Amita added.

Hosted by the Maharashtra Cricket Association, the tournament will feature six teams representing different zones, East, West, North, South, Central, and North-East. With matches spanning across five days, one more than the previous two-day format in 2018, the competition promises an enhanced platform for skill development and strategic play.

Scheduled immediately after the conclusion of the ongoing Women's Premier League on March 17, the tournament kicks off with quarterfinal clashes between East Zone and North East Zone, and West Zone and Central Zone on March 28. The semifinals are slated for April 3, marking a pivotal moment in the resurgence of women's red-ball cricket in India. The final is scheduled for April 9.

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