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MI, RCB, DC owners get WPL Teams as well; BCCI fetches INR 4669.99 cr from franchise sale

Women's IPL 2023: MI, RCB, DC owners get WPL Teams as well; BCCI fetches INR 4669.99 crores from franchise sale. Adani Sportsline, Capri Global Holdings get teams as well.

Women's IPL 2023_ Viacom 18 sports bags media rights for INR 951 crores for 2023-27 cycle _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
BCCI earned amount of INR 4669.99 crore for the sale of five teams (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the winners of five franchises for the inaugural Women's Premier League in India. The winners of the auction include the owners of men’s Indian Premier League (IPL) teams, Mumbai Indians (MI), Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), while the other two winners are Adani Group who have bought the Ahmedabad’s women’s team franchise and Capri Global who own the Lucknow-based women’s team franchise.

The winners of the bidding cities along with franchises were announced after opening the sealed bids in Mumbai on Wednesday; the BCCI earned a whopping amount of INR 4669.99 crore for the sale of five teams. The BCCI has officially named the league “Women's Premier League (WPL)”.

City-wise franchises along with owners

Adani Sportsline Pvt Ltd emerged as the highest bidder for Team Ahmedabad with a bid of INR 1,289 crore, while Reliance Industries subsidiary Indiawin Sports Pvt Ltd won the bid for Mumbai team with the second highest amount of INR 912.99 crore. Royal Challengers Sports Pvt Ltd won the bid for Bengaluru team with INR 901 crore, JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd for the Delhi team with INR 810 crore and Capri Global Holdings Pvt Ltd won the bid for Lucknow team with INR 757 crore.

The Adani Group has made its official entry into the Indian cricket scene by securing a women’s team for IPL, after it failed to buy a male IPL team in 2021.

What the BCCI fetched

The BCCI fetched USD 723.59 million in 2008, after selling the eight franchisees in the men's IPL for the inaugural edition. Accounting for the current inflation rate, Arun Dhumal, the chairman of the IPL, stated that WPL has a “bigger” valuation than that of men’s IPL in terms of monetary valuations derived from the sale of teams.

According to ESPNCricinfo, a total of 17 entities showed interest in owning women’s IPL teams and bought bid documents worth INR 5 lakhs including all ten men's IPL teams, while 16 of them took part in the bidding process on January 25.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah called it “the beginning of a revolution in women's cricket” in a tweet expressing his happiness over the successful auctions, and mentioned that WPL has become the "second-highest valued" league in cricket after the men's IPL

"The responsibility lies on our shoulders to see to it that the faith that has been deposed on BCCI, we work extra hard to make sure that this Women's Premier League turns out to be at par with men's league, if not better," Dhumal said. "We take it as a challenge and we will leave no stone unturned to make sure that what we are successful in achieving for WPL is what we have done for IPL."

Tentative dates for WIPL & IPL

Dhumal said that the BCCI is about to finalise the schedule and itinerary for the first season of the WPL, and is hoping to get it started soon after the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, which is scheduled to be held from February 10 to February 26. As per reports of ESPNCricinfo, WPL could start from March 4 to 24; the BCCI wants to end the WPL a week before the start of men’s IPL, which will tentatively start from April 1 and end on May 28, in order to keep venues fresh for the events.

Who owns the media rights?

Earlier, Viacom18 secured the media rights for a whooping price of INR 951 Crores (USD 116.7 million approx) for the Women’s IPL for the next five years (2023-2027). This means per match value would be INR 7.09 crore for the next five years. According to the revenue-sharing model, 80 per cent of the media rights money would be distributed among the five franchises in the first five years.

Lowdown on Player Auctions

Although the player's auction date has still not been finalised, it has been suggested that it could happen in the first week of February. Though, a purse of INR 12 crore (USD 1.47 million approx) per team for the first season has been finalised.

The board had already set January 26 at or before 5 pm IST as the deadline for Indian players to register for the auction, and it is mentioned that the players are expected to register for the Women's T20 League auction directly to their respective State Associations and not via agents or managers. According to the directives, if they fail to do so, then they won’t be allowed to be a part of the auction list. However, the base price is termed as ‘reserve price’ - for the capped Indian players it is set at INR 30 lakh, INR 40 lakh and INR 50 lakh, and for uncapped players, it is INR 10 lakh and INR 20 lakh. It is up to players to set their base price.

Last year, the Board decided to pay women the same match fees as their male counterparts for playing an international match in accordance with the board's new pay equity policy.

The BCCI President Roger Binny is surprised to see the standard to see the quality of cricket the women’s team has been playing in the last five years and hopes that “with the WPL coming in, that could take the players even further. Like what happened in the men's section, the game really took off and the game improved so much. The same thing is going to happen in women's cricket."


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