Jhulan Goswami, Supernovas, Trailblazers, Women's T20 Challenge
Jhulan Goswami will lead the bowling attack for the Trailblazers, despite having retired from T20I cricket and West Indies pacer Shakera Selman will share the new ball. @ Twitter/Jhulan Goswami

As opposed to just one match last year, the Women’s T20 Challenge will have three teams this edition instead. Kick-starting the four-day tournament underway is Supernovas and Trailblazers at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Monday.

To promote women’s cricket in India, the BCCI has not only expanded the tournament, but the one game last year has become four and the afternoon heat has (mostly) been replaced by a night game. Instead of eight overseas players, there are 12. And more importantly, the tournament which was an unofficial, 13-a side encounter last year, is now an official domestic T20 series.

Mithali Raj will lead the new team Velocity, while Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana will remain captains of Supernovas and Trailblazers – teams that they led last year.

Like the men’s IPL, there will be a limit of four overseas players in each team. Three of the four matches will be played in the evening – a rarity in women’s cricket. Players from India, New Zealand, England, West Indies, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be in action. There will be no Australian players, though, owing to the differences between CA and BCCI.

Let’s take a closer look at both the teams in action today.

Supernovas

Supernovas have destructive batswomen like the captain herself Harmanpreet in addition to Chamari Athapaththu and Sophie Devine, who holds the record for the fastest fifty in women’s T20I cricket. Rising star Jemimah Rodrigues and England’s Natalie Sciver will also be on show. Pace bowlers Mansi Joshi and Arundhati Reddy will enjoy sharing the new ball with New Zealand fast bowler Lea Tahuhu. Poonam and Radha Yadav will helm the spin department.

Supernovas squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Anuja Patil, Arundhati Reddy, Jemimah Rodrigues, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, Priya Punia, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Chamari Atapattu*, Lea Tahuhu*, Sophie Devine*, Natalie Sciver*

Coach: WV Raman

Trailblazers

Smriti Mandhana’s side boasts of having the leading run scorer in T20I cricket – Suzie Bates, who is joined by West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor. There are others who haven’t made a statement such has Deepti Sharma and Harleen Deol and the duo could use this platform to grab eyeballs. Watch out for Jasia Akhtar, who hails from Shopian in Jammu & Kashmir.

Jhulan Goswami will lead the bowling attack, despite having retired from T20I cricket and West Indies pacer Shakera Selman will share the new ball. England’s Sophie Ecclestone will bring her left arm spin to the mix.

Trailblazers squad: Smriti Mandhana (c), Bharti Fulmali, D Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Harleen Deol, Jasia Akhtar, Jhulan Goswami, R Kalpana (wk), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Suzie Bates*, Sophie Ecclestone*, Shakera Selman*, Stafanie Taylor*

Coach: Biju George

Women’s T20 Challenge schedule:

May 6: Supernovas vs Trailblazers at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur at 7.30 PM IST.

May 8: Trailblazers vs Velocity at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur at 3.30 PM IST.

May 9: Supernovas vs Velocity at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur at 7.30 PM IST.

May 11: Final at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur at 7.30 PM IST.

Women’s T20 Challenge live TV broadcast:

All matches will be broadcast LIVE on the Star Network (in India)