The owners of the English Premier League team Manchester United have expressed their interest in acquiring a team in the Women’s IPL.
The club's owners had earlier tried to buy an Indian Premier League franchise as well which couldn’t quite materialize.
Speaking to Cricbuzz from Dubai on the sidelines of the ILT20 (International League T20) where they own the Desert Vipers franchise, a representative for the Manchester United owners stated that Avram Glazier is seriously looking to buy a team in the WIPL. Avram is an American businessman who holds a major ownership stake at Manchester United.
Phil Oliver, the CEO of Desert Vipers, told Cricbuzz on Friday (January 13):
"Having bought into the ILT20, it is natural for us to look into other cricket opportunities around the world, including Women's IPL."
Cricbuzz had earlier reported that the auction for the inaugural edition of the WIPL will be held on January 25. While their interest in the WIPL has been mentioned, Oliver didn’t reveal whether they have bought the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document, which is obligatory for purchasing a side. He said:
"I can't reveal the details of how far we are in that process but I am happy to say that we are looking into all opportunities, including the WIPL. The India market is of interest to us."
"A lot of Indian cricket fans will be watching this tournament and will see what the Desert Vipers will bring to that. If anything, we want to bring an exciting brand of cricket to the Indian fans, just as to our fans all around the world."
The Invitation to Tender can be purchased till the 21st of January. It has been learnt that since the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently launched the ITT, there has been a buzz among the Indian and overseas markets.
If reports in Cricbuzz are to be believed, there have been over 20 parties, including the existing IPL franchises and those who missed out on buying a team in 2021 who have taken the ITT and will be looking to acquire a team in the WIPL. This could lead to a seriously intense bidding war.
Manchester United owners missed out on acquiring an IPL team
The Glazer family emerged as one of the bidders for the two new IPL teams which were launched in 2022. Avram Glazer, who was representing Lancer Capital, had placed bids worth INR 4125.65 crore for the Gujarat Titans and INR 4023.99 crore for the Lucknow Supergiants.
The two new franchises were eventually acquired by Sanjiv Goenka (Lucknow Super Giants) and the CVC Capital (Gujarat Titans).
Phil Oliver also clarified the difference between the involvement of Manchester United and Avram Glazer in the world of cricket. He stated:
"Just to draw the initial distinction, it was not Manchester United which was looking at an IPL team. The distinction is important. Avaram Glazer of Lancer Capital bid for an IPL team when it expanded last year. That company has bought a franchise in ILT20, Desert Viper, and Manchester United is not represented here."
While the IPL 2023 is likely to kick off on April 1, the inaugural edition of the WIPL is likely to be played between March 3-26. The tournament will start just a week after the conclusion of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup.
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