India domestic season: Women's 50-over competition to begin on March 11
Matches to be held across six venues; teams to report at centres on March 4
Three days after news about a women's bilateral series between India and South Africa starting March 7 came out, the BCCI has finalised a plan for the resumption of the women's domestic season with the 50-over one-day tournament beginning March 11. Though no official statement to that effect has come from the board, a letter from Jay Shah, the board secretary, has gone out with the details - including the full schedule of matches - to the affiliated units of the BCCI.
The tournament will be held across six venues: Surat, Rajkot, Jaipur, Indore, Chennai and Bengaluru. Teams will have to assemble at their respective venues by March 4 and will need to return three negative Covid-19 tests - on March 4, 6 and 8 - before entering the respective bio-bubbles.
Each of the five elite groups have six teams each, while the plate group has seven - unlike in the men's format, where there are eight teams in the plate category because Services are not a part of the women's circuit. The five elite-group toppers qualify directly for the knockouts, while the three next-best-placed teams in the elite groups in terms of points earned will join them, with the last of these qualifiers playing a pre-quarter-final against the topper of the plate group to get into the final eight.
The quarter-finals will be held on March 29, and semi-finals on April 1. The final will be played on April 4. The venues for the knockouts will be announced later.
Bengal were the winners when the domestic 50-over competition last ran to its conclusion, during the 2018-19 season. The subsequent season had to be called off midway because of the Covid-19 pandemic.