In a first, the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 Playoffs will witness a women's T20 challenge match ahead of the Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday. India stars Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the IPL Trailblazers and IPL Supernovas respectively. The Qualifier 1 will later be played between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH). On the eve of the much-awaited match, England's Danielle Wyatt took to Twitter and uploaded a video where she, Harmanpreet and Veda Krishnamurthy can be seen rocking away to a popular Punjabi track.
"Training Punjabi music on the way home @ImHarmanpreet @vedakmurthy08," the caption says.
The one-of-its-kind match will feature 26 players including 10 international stars from Australia, England and New Zealand. Among those to be seen will be Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, Danielle Wyatt, Alyssa Healy and Suzie Bates.
Australia's captain Meg Lanning, who recovered from her injury earlier in the month, will be a part of Harmanpreet Kaur-led IPL Supernovas.
Women's T20 Challenge - Trailblazers vs Supernovas— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) May 19, 2018
2 PM IST, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
May 22 pic.twitter.com/bwH0eagSe9
The women's game has seen a wave of popularity in the country following India's run to the final of ICC Women's World Cup last year. With an eye on growing this wave, the BCCI is hosting the T20 Challenge to provide the women's game a platform alongside its most popular tournament.
Talking about the match, Diana Edulji member of the BCCI's Committee of Administrators said, "We are excited to announce the first-of-its-kind exhibition match involving our women cricketers. BCCI has been pulling out all stops to promote and nurture women's cricket and this is a small yet significant step towards a prospective league involving women's stars in the future."
The match will begin at 2 pm IST, followed by the IPL 2018 Qualifier 1 at 7 pm IST.