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The Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) is set  to schedule a multi-day women's competition from  March 29. The tournament will take  place in Pune and feature teams representing six zones - East, West, North, South, Central, and NorthEast. This red-ball competition will include five matches and kick-off days after the ongoing  Women's Premier League  (WPL), which ends on March 17.

The tournament seems to be part of the BCCI's active effort to prioritise red-ball across the men's and women's teams. At the end of 2023, the Women in Blue played Test matches against Australia and England. Whereas in men's cricket, the BCCI is planning to take strict action against those players, who are side-stepping red-ball cricket and only focusing on the Indian Premier League. 

BCCI's zonal women's red-ball tournament set to start on March 29

Coming back to the Women's zonal red-ball tournament, the competition will kick off with two quarterfinals, which will take place on March 29, 30, and 31, as per Cricbuzz. The tournament will then move to the semifinal stage which is slated to be played together on April 5, 6, and 7. The final of the tournament will start on April 9. However, the identities of the two teams directly seeded to the semifinals aren't revealed.

I would love to be a part of the World Test Championship:  Smriti Mandhana

Ahead of the Test matches against England and Australia, Indian top-order batter Smriti Mandhana expressed excitement about playing in a women's World Test Championship-like tournament.  Speaking in a press conference ahead of the Test against England,  Mandhana opined,  "I would love to be a part of the World Test Championship but that is for the boards and the ICC to decide."

"Having watched a lot of men's Test cricket and championships it would be really exciting to be a part of something of that sort. But as I said, that would be their (administrators') decision," she added.