The Women's T20 Challenge 2021 is likely to hit a roadblock due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit India quite hard.
The fourth edition of the tournament is expected to be played towards the end of IPL 2021, coinciding with the playoffs. But with several issues to deal with, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) doesn't seem to be in favor of hosting the tournament, as per reports in ESPNCricinfo.
The high probability of overseas players skipping the tournament, along with the logistical issues, seem to be the major factors that have forced the BCCI to reportedly plan of postponing the tournament.
Several countries worldwide, including Australia and the United Kingdom (UK), have imposed restrictions on travel to and from India.
In the third edition of the Women's T20 Challenge that was played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year, 12 overseas players featured in the three-team tournament.
While there has been no official word from the BCCI yet, it is understood that officials have internally acknowledged the challenges to ensure the smooth conduct of the tournament.
No Women's T20 Challenge will be a massive blow for women's cricket
Women's cricket has been gaining a lot of popularity over the last few years, both in India and all around the globe. Since the Indian women's team made it to the finals of the 2017 World Cup, there has been a significant rise in women's cricket viewership in the country.
The Women's T20 Challenge 2020 shattered several viewership records, thereby raising hope in the fraternity. Last year, there was a 147 percent increase in the viewing minutes and a 47 percent rise in unique viewers in India, as compared to the 2019 edition of the tournament.
Last year, the BCCI labeled the Women's T20 Challenge as 'financially independent', an indicator of the tournament's growing popularity.
If the tournament is not played this year, it will have massive repercussions for women's cricket. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, several women's games have already been postponed.