The Women's Premier League (WPL) 2023 will begin with a blockbuster clash between Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians on March 4 at the DY Patil Stadium, the BCCI confirmed on Tuesday while announcing the schedule for the inaugural edition of the tournament.
In its first season, the WPL will stage a total of 20 league matches and two Playoff games that will be played in a duration of 23 days. The league, which have five teams -- Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore & UP Warriorz -- will have its first double-header day on March 5 when Royal Challengers Bangalore will square off against Delhi Capitals at the Brabourne Stadium, CCI while UP Warriorz will play their first game of the league against Gujarat Giants at the DY Patil Stadium.
There will be four double headers with the first match starting at 1530 hrs IST and all evening matches will start at 1930 hrs IST. A total of 11 matches each will be held at the DY Patil Stadium and Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, the BCCI said in a media release.
The final game of the league stage will be played between UP Warriorz and Delhi Capitals on March 21 at the Brabourne Stadium, CCI. The Eliminator will be played at the DY Patil Stadium on March 24. The Final of the Women's Premier League 2023 will be played at the Brabourne Stadium on March 26.
The schedule announcement comes a day after the conclusion of the WPL Player Auction in Mumbai. The five franchises splurged their purse to acquire some of the best talents in the international and domestic circuit for the inaugural edition of the league.
India's Smriti Mandhana was the top buy as she was sold for a whopping INR 3.40 crore to Royal Challengers Bangalore. Team India Captain Harmanpreet Kaur was sold to Mumbai Indians for INR 1.80 crore while the rest of the stars from India and around the globe too made the cut in one of the five franchises.
Among the foreign players, Australia all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner and England all-rounder Natalie Sciver were the top buys as they were sold to Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians for INR 3.20 crore respectively.
From the India U19 stars, ICC U19 T20 World Cup-winning captain, Shafali Verma was the top buy, sold to Delhi Capitals for INR 2 crore.