A Women’s National Super League (NSL) for both white-ball formats will begin this month, Sri Lanka Cricket has confirmed, with the 50-over contest set to begin on February 6, in Colombo, at the completion of which the T20 competition will take place.
The tournament, similar to the Men’s NSL launched in 2022, will see the country’s top talent streamlined. In this case, into four teams – Colombo, Kandy, Dambulla and Galle – with 60 players taking part in total.
“The 50 over tournament, which will start on February 6, is a major elevation for women’s cricket in the country, as they get to compete in the country’s elite domestic competition,” stated an SLC media release.
“Competing and performing well in the Women’s National Super League will enable players to graduate to national recognition.”
Both tournaments are set to be held back-to-back in Colombo with each side squaring off against the other once before the final. The 50-over final will take place on February 12 with the T20 tournament starting three days later on February 15. The T20 final is set for February 20.
The move is a significant boon to the women’s game in Sri Lanka. Between March 2020 and November 2021, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Sri Lanka’s women’s side did not compete in a single international fixture.
However 2022 and 2023 have since seen an uptick in competitive tours, with series against India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand and England in the books, including a historic home ODI series win against New Zealand and a T20I series win against England.
In 2023, captain Chamari Athapaththu also recorded the most successful year of her career, being named ICC’s ODI Player of the Year.