Former India captain and one of the game’s all-time greats, Mithali Raj has been appointed as the mentor and advisor for the Ahmedabad franchise in the Women’s Premier League.

The team will be called the Gujarat Giants as earlier confirmed.

Cricket: Women’s Premier League team owners confirmed by BCCI for a total bid of Rs 4669.99 crore

Three of the five women’s league franchises – Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore – already own IPL teams.

The other two are Adani Sportsline Pvt. Limited (Ahmedabad), owned by one of the world’s richest men, Gautam Adani, and Capri Global Holdings Pvt Limited (Lucknow).

“Women’s cricket is growing steadily, and this kind of impetus will undoubtedly encourage young women to consider taking up cricket professionally,” Mithali said in a statement adding that the league is a fantastic move for women’s cricket.

“I believe that the high-impact participation of corporates will help hasten the process of eventually bringing more glory to India. This level of influence can help strengthen the sporting ecosystem and enhance opportunities for women athletes.”

As a mentor and advisor, the franchise statement stated that Mithali will also promote women’s cricket and help develop the sport at the grassroots level in Gujarat.

“Mithali Raj is a role model for the young generation and we are delighted to have such an inspirational athlete on board to mentor our women’s cricket team,” said Pranav Adani, Director of Adani Enterprises.

Mithali, who had announced her retirement from international cricket last year, had actually said that she could consider playing in the tournament.

Speaking to former England player Isa Guha and New Zealand off-spinner Frankie Mackay in the inaugural episode of ICC’s 100% Cricket podcast, she had said: “I’m keeping that option open. I’ve not yet decided. There are a few more months to go before the women’s IPL happens. It would be lovely to be part of the first edition of the women’s IPL.”

The 39-year-old had retired in June, finishing as the highest run-getter in One Day Internationals, as the only woman to have crossed the 6,000-run mark in the 50-over format.

India’s cricket board on Wednesday earned $572.5 million as it announced the winners of bids to own five teams in the inaugural Women’s Premier League Twenty20 tournament in March.

(with AFP inputs)

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