India’s franchised-owned T20 league for female cricketers will be called the Women’s Premier League as the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced on Wednesday that they received a combined bid of Rs 4669.99 crore for five teams.
The BCCI also announced the winners of the bid. With a massive bid of Rs 1289 crore, the team from Ahmedabad will be owned by Adani Sportsline Pvt Ltd.
Mumbai Indians – via Indiawin Sports Pvt Ltd – with a Rs 912.99 crores bid will own the franchise from Mumbai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore also acquired a franchise for a bid of Rs 901 Crore. JSW GMR Cricket Pvt Ltd, who co-own the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, acquired a franchise for 810 crore. Capri Global Holdings Pvt Ltd are the owners of a franchise based out of Lucknow for 757 crore.
WPL team owners
|Successful Bidder||City||Amount in INR|
|Adani Sportsline Pvt. Ltd||Ahmedabad||1289 crores|
|Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd||Mumbai||912.99 crores|
|Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd||Bengaluru||901 crores|
|JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd||Delhi||810 crores|
|Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd||Lucknow||757 crores|
“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,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted.
“Congratulations to the winners as we garnered Rs.4669.99 Cr in total bid. 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. The WPL would bring necessary reforms in women’s cricket and would ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder.”
“The league will give players from India and abroad a chance to learn and grow together,” BCCI president and former India cricketer Roger Binny said. “It will pave the way for development at the grassroots level with the inclusion of more women cricketers. I would also like to congratulate the BCCI team for the smooth execution of the auction process. I’m confident that the league will help our women cricketers shine on the global stage.”
“I believe that with a record Media Rights valuation earlier and now with these high bids, the league will be commercially independent and self-sustaining property,” Shah added in a separate statement.
“The league will surely provide more strength, but more importantly, create a more equitable future for women and girls in our sport. We are standing at a juncture where women’s cricket is set to grow by leaps and bounds and the WPL and the pay-parity decision earlier are significant milestones.”
Earlier this month, the BCCI had announced that Viacom 18 has bagged the media rights for the first five editions of the Women’s IPL. BCCI secretary Jay Shah, in a Twitter post, had stated that Viacom had committed Rs 951 crore for five years.
The first edition of the Women’s IPL will be played after the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa and before the men’s IPL season begins.
It had earlier been reported that in the first edition of the WIPL, five teams will feature and a total of 22 matches will be played. Each squad will have 18 players with a maximum of six from overseas. In the playing XI, a maximum of five overseas players will be allowed – four from Full Member countries and one from an Associate nation. There is expected to be an auction to select teams soon.
The BCCI had been conducting the Women’s T20 challenge up until now, which featured three teams in the most recent edition and had four matches. The Women’s Big Bash League, FairBreak Invitational, Women’s Hundred and Women’s Caribbean Premier League are the top leagues in the women’s game at the moment.
Mumbai Indians’ Nita M. Ambani said in a statement, “With great joy and pride, I welcome our women’s cricket team to the MI family. This is a historic moment for Indian cricket, and we are delighted to be a part of it. India’s women cricketers have always made the nation proud in the global sporting arena – be it the World Cup, Asian Cup or the recent Commonwealth Games.”
In a press release, Pranav Adani, Director of Adani Enterprises, said: “The Indian women’s cricket team has been doing exceptionally well – and a cricket league for women is a significant step in creating more opportunities for women through sports.”
The Ahmedabad franchise will be called Gujarat Giants, in line with the group’s other teams in sporting leagues like the Gulf Giants in ILT20, and the Gujarat Giants in the Pro Kabaddi League as well as Ultimate Kho Kho.
One of the existing IPL franchises to bid and miss out was Kolkata Knight Riders, who said in a statement: “We tried very hard to bring WPL to our fans in Kolkata & came really close. Needless to say we will find ways to keep contributing to the growth & development of women’s cricket in India. Kolkata as a venue is still open. It’s just a matter of time before we bring WPL to Eden.”