The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday, January 25, announced the successful bidders for the Women’s Premier League (WPL). Five teams were purchased for a combined value of ₹4669.99 crore, which is more than what was shelled out for the inaugural men’s Indian Premier League (IPL) - USD 723.59 million.
Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd purchased Ahmedabad, Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd bought Mumbai, Bengaluru was sold to Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd, Delhi to JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd and the Lucknow franchise to Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd.
While announcing the mega purchases, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in an official press release:
“It is a historic day for women’s cricket. I welcome Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd, Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd, Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd, JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd and Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd to Women’s Premier League. The collective bid of INR 4669.99 crore shows that our stakeholders thoroughly believe in the concept and have faith in BCCI’s vision and plans for the league.”
On the big day for women’s cricket, here’s a compilation of five things to know about the inaugural WPL.
#1 Who purchased the most expensive franchise in WPL?
The BCCI revealed that Adani Sportsline, the sports arm of Adani Group, bought the most expensive team in the WPL. They shelled out ₹1289 crore to pick the Ahmedabad franchise.
Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd purchased Mumbai for ₹912.99 crore, Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd acquired Bengaluru for ₹901 crore, while JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd spent ₹810 crore for the Delhi team.
The Lucknow franchise was purchased by Capri Global Holdings for ₹757 crore.
#2 Who were the bidders who missed out on purchasing a WPL team?
Seven of the 10 IPL franchises were in the fray to purchase a team in the WPL. While the owners of Mumbai Indians (MI), Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), and Delhi Capitals (DC) placed successful bids, Punjab Kings (PBKS), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) missed out.
Among non-IPL bidders, the famous multinational sweets and snacks brand Haldiram's submitted its bid. Earlier on Monday, January 23, the BCCI cleared 17 technical bids. The final bidding was held at a five-star hotel on Wednesday.
#3 What do we know of the inaugural WPL auction?
As per a report in The Times of India, the auction for the inaugural WPL season is likely to take place in February.
Each of the franchises will likely have a purse of ₹12 crore at the players' auction. Teams can buy a minimum of 15 players and a maximum of 18.
#4 WPL 2023: Tournament rules, dates, venues
According to reports, the inaugural WPL is likely to be held in March, with all the matches said to be played in Mumbai. A total of 22 games will be held as part of the inaugural Women’s Premier League season.
The top-ranked side in the league stage will directly qualify for the final. The second and third-placed franchises will then clash for a spot in the final of the tournament.
Up to five overseas players, including one from an associate nation, are likely to be allowed in a playing XI. Only four foreign cricketers are allowed to feature in a playing XI in the men's IPL.
#5 Who has purchased the media rights for WPL?
Viacom 18 has secured media rights for the first five editions of the Women’s Premier League. Viacom will pay ₹951 crore to BCCI as part of the deal, which calculates to per match value of ₹7.09 crores for the next five years (2023-27).
While confirming Viacom 18 as the successful bidder for media rights, BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted:
“Congratulations @viacom18 for winning the Women’s @IPL media rights. Thank you for your faith in @BCCI and @BCCIWomen. Viacom has committed INR 951 crores which means per match value of INR 7.09 crores for next 5 years (2023-27). This is massive for Women’s Cricket.”
While the WPL is set to kick off in India, Australia (Big Bash League), England (Hundred) and West Indies (Caribbean Premier League) already have their women’s versions of their respective franchise leagues.
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