Mumbai, January 25
The Indian cricket board (BCCI) today earned a Rs 4,669.99 crore windfall from the sale of five teams in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL), with Adani Sportsline shelling out a massive Rs 1,289 crore for the Ahmedabad team, the most expensive franchise.
IPL team Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals made successful bids of Rs 912.99 crore, Rs 901 crore and Rs 810 crore, respectively, to enter the WPL. Capri Global Holdings got the Lucknow franchise for Rs 757 crore.
“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! Congratulations to the winners as we garnered Rs 4,669.99-cr in total bid,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted.
Earlier this month, BCCI sold the media rights of the WPL to Viacom18 for Rs 951 crore, getting a Rs 7.09 crore per match value for five years.
Adani Group, which had failed to buy an IPL team when the Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises were up for sale in 2021, has made its official entry into Indian cricket by securing a women’s team.
“The BCCI has named the league — Women’s Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin,” Shah tweeted. “The #WPL would bring necessary reforms in women’s cricket and would ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder.”
The eight franchises in the men’s IPL were sold for $723.59 million before the maiden edition in 2008.
“If you recall, the bids for men’s IPL back in 2008 was lower than this if you calculate on the basis of multiple and factor in the inflation, the valuation is beyond the men’s IPL at that time. It augurs well for women’s cricket,” said IPL chairman Arun Dhumal in a media interaction.
Sitting alongside Dhumal, Shah said that the highest bids for each city-based franchise ended up being the winning one. “There was a vast difference between bids,” he said.
Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders made unsuccessful bids of Rs 180 crore and Rs 666 crore for the Jaipur and Kolkata franchise, respectively.
The WPL player auction will take place next month and the first edition will be played in March. Each team will have a purse of Rs 12 crore at the player auction and will need to buy a minimum of 15 players and maximum of 18. Up to five overseas players, including one from an associate nation, will be allowed in the playing XI.
The BCCI on Monday had cleared 17 technical bids for the closed-door bidding that was held in a five-star hotel here today. As many as seven IPL franchises were in the race and the ones to miss out were Punjab Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Among the outsiders, sweets and snacks company Haldiram’s too had submitted its bid on Monday. The BCCI had not set any base price for the sale of teams.
A total of 22 games will be played in the inaugural season, with the top-ranked team in the league stage qualifying directly for the final. The second and third-placed teams will battle it out for a place in the title clash.
“This new Women’s League will once again shine a global spotlight on the talent, power, and potential of our girls. I’m sure our Women’s MI team will take the Mumbai Indians brand of fearless and entertaining cricket to a new level altogether,” said Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani.
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