BCCI announces five-team women’s IPL; MI, RCB and Delhi Capitals among new owners
The long-cherished dream of Women’s IPL is all set to become a reality as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the names of the owners of the five teams for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) on January 25.
“Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams in the inaugural #WPL broke the records of the inaugural Men’s IPL in 2008! Congratulations to the winners as we garnered ₹4,669.99 Cr in total bid,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted.
Adani Sportsline, which missed out on being part of the men’s Indian Premier League after failing to secure bids for Ahmedabad and Lucknow, shelled out a cool ₹1,289 crores for the Ahmedabad franchisee.
Meanwhile, Capri Global Holdings got the Lucknow franchise for ₹757 crore.
Three of the top IPL teams will also have their women’s teams, with the Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Capitals (DC) making successful bids.
While MI shelled out ₹912.99 crore, RCB and DC paid ₹901 crore and ₹810 crore for their successful bids, respectively.
It is learnt that seven IPL franchisees were in the race. Haldiram’s, a multinational sweets and snacks company, had also submitted a bid.
The BCCI sold the league’s media rights to Viacom18 earlier this month for ₹951 crores, or ₹7.09 crore per match, for a five-year period.
Talking about the name of the league, Shah tweeted, “The BCCI has named the league – Women’s Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin.”
“Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams of inaugural #WPL broke the records of the inaugural Men’s IPL in 2008,” he said. The inaugural eight franchises in the men’s IPL were sold for $723.59 million in 2008.
“This marks the beginning of a revolution in women’s cricket and paves the way for a transformative journey ahead, not only for our women cricketers but for the entire sports fraternity,” Shah said.
“The #WPL would bring necessary reforms to women’s cricket and ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder,” Shah added.
The WPL player auction will take place next month, with the first edition to be played in March.
A total of 22 games will be played in the inaugural season. While the top-ranked team in the league stage will qualify directly for the final, the second and third-place teams will face off for a place in the title match.
Each team will have a purse of ₹12 crore at the players’ auction next month. They will need to buy a minimum of 15 players and a maximum of 18. Up to five foreign players, including one from an associate country, will be allowed to start.