The Women’s T20 Challenge is an Indian women’s T20 tournament that features three teams. It was first held in 2018 and so far, three editions have been played, with Supernovas winning three.
Supernovas are the only team to appear in all four finals that have been played to date.
Trailblazers are the defending champions, having won the 2020 edition. The 2022 edition will be the last of its kind as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has confirmed that a franchise-based annual women’s T20 tournament will be held from 2023 which will effectively replace the Indian Women’s T20 Challenge.
The idea for a domestic women’s T20 league was put forward in 2017 soon after the Indian women’s cricket team finished the 50-over world cup as runners-up.
In 2018, a one-match Women’s T20 Challenge was played between Trailblazers and Supernovas where the latter came out victorious by three wickets. After having put to bat first, Trailblazers scored 129/6 with a certain Suzie Bates - the Player of the Match on the night - top-scoring for her team (32 runs).
Supernovas made a cautious start and thanks to a few stable innings, they reached their target in the final delivery with three wickets to spare.
Expansion and future plans
In 2019, the tournament was expanded to three teams, with Velocity being the newest entrants. The format of the competition was such that the team played each other in a single-match round-robin format. The top two teams qualified for the final.
In 2020, Trailblazers halted Supernovas' title-winning run by beating them by 16 runs to win the title.
Ahead of the cancelled 2021 edition, BCCI had suggested an expanded Women’s T20 Challenge. Back then it was believed that as many as four new teams would be introduced, but the idea was postponed due to the logistical constraints that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BCCI is currently working on adding five or six new teams for a tournament that will be women’s equivalent to the popular Indian T20 League. Interestingly enough, the existing Indian T20 League entities will be given the first right of refusal to take over the women’s franchise.
Women’s T20 Challenge winners list
|2018||Supernovas||Won by 3 wickets||Trailblazers|
|2019||Supernovas||Won by 4 wickets||Velocity|
|2020||Trailblazers||Won by 16 runs||Supernovas|
|2022||Supernovas||Wom by 4 runs||Velocity|
Featured photo: Twitter / Indian T20 League