Mumbai, Jan 25: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday (January 25) announced the sale of five teams for the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL).
The BCCI on Monday had cleared 17 technical bids for the closed-door bidding that was held in a five-star hotel here on Wednesday.
The board has earned a Rs 4669.99 crore windfall with the sale of the teams as Adani Sportsline bought the most expensive franchise for Rs 1289 crore.
Adani Sports Line Pvt. Ltd.: The Ahmedabad franchise went to Adani, who failed to win a bid for the men's team last year when the BCCI added two more teams to the IPL last year. They placed a bid of Rs 1289 crore to buy the most expensive franchise.
Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd.: Capri Global Holdings - a non-banking financial holding company - became the owner of the Lucknow franchise with a bid of Rs 757 crore. Capri Global announced a multi-year partnership with the Gujarat Titans in 2022 and as part of the deal, the Capri logo is present on the right chest of the Gujarat Titans jersey.
Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd. - the owners of Mumbai Indians - have bought a team for Mumbai with a bid of Rs 912.99 crore.
Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd. - the company which owns Royal Challengers Bangalore - placed a bid of Rs 901 crore for the team.
JSW-GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd. - the owners of Delhi Capitals - successfully bagged the team with a bid of Rs 810 crore to enter the WPL.
The total value of all five Women's Premier League teams on the day of its inception stands at Rs 4667.99 crores.
Mumbai Indians Women - Value Rs 912.99 crore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Women - Value Rs 901 crore.
Delhi Capitals Women - Value Rs 810 crore.
Lucknow WPL Franchise - Value Rs 757 crore.
Adani Sports Line Franchise - Value Rs 1289 crore.
Mumbai Indians Women: Wankhede Stadium is likely to be the home ground for the women's franchise. Although there are two more stadiums Brabourne and DY Patil in Mumbai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Women: The iconic M Chinnaswamy Stadium will be hosting its women's franchise. It has a seating capacity of 42000.
Lucknow WPL Franchise: The Lucknow women's team will be playing their home games at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari International Stadium, Ekana in Lucknow. It has a capacity of 48000.
Delhi Capitals Women: The women's team of the Delhi franchise will play home games at Arun Jaitley International Stadium (Feroz Shah Kotla). It has a seating capacity of 55000.
Adani WPL Team: The iconic Narendra Modi Stadium (Motera) in Ahmedabad which has a seating capacity of 1,12,560 will be the home ground of this franchise.
Although, the inaugural edition of the tournament is likely to be held in Mumbai, across two or all three venues.
"Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams of the inaugural #WPL broke the records of the inaugural Men's IPL in 2008! Congratulations to the winners as we garnered Rs.4669.99 Cr in a total bid," said BCCI Honorary Secretary Jay Shah in a tweet.
"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 @BCCI has named the league - Women's Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin," tweeted Shah.
The @BCCI has named the league - Women's Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin....— Jay Shah (@JayShah) January 25, 2023
Earlier this month, the BCCI sold the media rights to Viacom18 for Rs 951 crore, getting a Rs 7.09 crore per match value for five years.
Star India batter Smriti Mandhana took to her Twitter handle and applauded the BCCI over the windfall and wrote, "A huge round of applause to @BCCI and @JayShah for their pioneering move to establish a Women's #PL. This is a brilliant step for Indian women's cricket, and it's exciting to see the potential and talent that will be on display from world over. #WPL."
India all-rounder Deepti Sharma expressed her happiness over the announcement of WPL teams and the big money it fetched.
"Delighted that the Women's Indian Premier League is now a reality. This is a brilliant move towards recognising and growing women's cricket in India and I'd like to thank @BCCI and @JayShah sir for making this possible. This will change the landscape of cricket in India. #WPL," Deepti tweeted.
Former India cricketer and legendary batter Mithali Raj was among the first ones to commend the BCCI and claimed the move will revolutionise women's cricket. Mithali wrote on her Twitter handle, "A record-breaking start for the inaugural Women's Premier League and expected nothing less! It will truly revolutionize women's cricket as we know it. Exciting times ahead @BCCI, @BCCIWomen, and @JayShah Sir."
English cricketer Kate Cross thanked the BCCI for coming up with the WPL and wrote, "Today is the day where you get to put your middle finger up to all those people who have devalued women's sport... The @BCCI have recognised something special is happening and are going to give female cricketers the platform they deserve. Here comes the #WPL."
In 2008, the eight franchises in the men's IPL were sold for USD 723.59 million for the first season. The WPL player auction will take place next month with the first edition to be played in March.
As many as seven IPL franchisees were in the race and the ones to miss out were Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Chennai Super Kings, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants didn't bid for a WPL team.
The inaugural edition of the WPL will see a total of 22 games with the top-ranked team in the league stage qualifying directly for the final.
The second and third-placed teams will battle out for a place in the title clash.
Each team will have a purse of Rs 12 crore at the players' auction next month and will need to buy a minimum of 15 players and a maximum of 18. Up to five overseas players, including one from associate, will be allowed in the playing eleven.
"I congratulate the winners for making successful bids to own WPL teams. The league will give players from India and abroad a chance to learn and grow together. 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," said BCCI President Roger Binny.
BCCI Honorary Secretary, Jay Shah said, "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. I thank all the participants for their overwhelming response. 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.
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."
BCCI Vice-President, Rajeev Shukla said: "This is the beginning of a new era of inclusivity where our women cricketers will get the unique opportunity to develop, thrive and excel at the global stage with the WPL. It fills my heart with pride to see this transformation happen in women's cricket in such an affirmative way. This is truly going to set a benchmark for women's cricket. A hearty congratulations to the new owners."
Arun Singh Dhuman, Chairman of IPL Governing Council, said: "I would like to congratulate and welcome all the winners to WPL. It's an honour and pleasure to see the response we have received from the participants to invest in the inaugural edition of the Women's Premier League. This is a strong testament to the value women's cricket can offer and with this, there will be a central pool of self-sustaining resources for Women's cricket. I'm certain that women's cricket will reach new heights with the commencement of the WPL."