The four others teams were purchased by Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd (Mumbai for Rs 912.99 crore), Royal Challengers Sports Pvt. Ltd (Bengaluru for 901 crore), JSW GMR Cricket Pvt. Ltd (Delhi for Rs 810 crore) and Capri Global Holdings Pvt. Ltd (Lucknow for Rs 757 crore). The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed that the collective bid for the five teams amounted to Rs 4669.99 crore.
Earlier, the BCCI had sold the media rights of WPL to Viacom 18 for Rs 951 crore for five years - Rs 7.09 crore per match for the 2023-27 period. With the combined sale of the franchises and media rights, WPL is now becomes the second largest cricket league in the world, next only to the IPL. It is also becomes one of the richest women's leagues in the world after WNBA and Women's Super League.
369 Slingshot Sports Venture Ltd, Amrit Lila Enterprise Pvt Ltd, APL Sports Pvt Ltd, KPL Dream Cricket Pvt Ltd, Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd, Oam Industries Ltd (Haldiram), Sun TV Network Ltd and Yadu International Ltd. were some of the other bidders for WPL teams who failed to win a franchise.
After winning the Mumbai franchise, Mumbai Indians owner Nita Ambani commented, "I'm sure our Women's MI team will take the Mumbai Indians brand of fearless and entertaining cricket to a new level altogether. My heartiest congratulations to the BCCI on this landmark announcement! It will pave the way for more and more young women to take up professional sport. At Reliance, we remain committed to the glorious rise of women not just in cricket, but sport in general.”
Reacting to the sale of the teams, an elated BCCI 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,” he added.
As per reports, the inaugural edition is likely to be held from March 4 to 26. Also, five overseas players will be allowed in the playing XI (four foreigners and one Associate country cricketer). The event could be held in Mumbai, but there are also chances that it could be a two-city event.
--By A Cricket Correspondent