This year's edition of the Women's Challenger T20 series, considered a precursor to a full-fledged female version of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in future, will be held from November 4 to 9 in UAE, coinciding as usual with the playoffs of men's IPL 2020, confirmed a senior league official.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Indian women's cricket the hardest, with the likes of Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana among others inactive since the T20 World Cup in March earlier this year.
The Indian team's proposed international tri-series in UK was abandoned and question marks were raised whether the Women's Challenger series will be held this year.
Then, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly assured that the series will be held as traditionally done with the rescheduled IPL 2020.
The board, however, faced criticism because of it partly overlapping with the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia, which kickstarts on October 25.
The WBBL features quite a few prominent Indian names every year, which could change this time because of the necessary quarantine regulation upon arrival down under.
Even if an Indian player flies across from the gulf, they will miss a major chunk of the WBBL 2020-21 that culminates on November 29.
The situation also means no Australian big name will play for any of the three teams in UAE.
Nevertheless, at least there is some cricket to look forward to for the Indians in these difficult times in the form of the Women's Challenger.
"Yes, the dates of the tournament have been finalised. It will be held from 4 to 9 November. There will be a single round-robin league between the three teams (Trailblazers, Velocity and Supernovas) along with the final. In all four matches will be held," a senior IPL official told PTI.