The BCCI on Wednesday earned Rs 4669.99 crore from the sale of five teams in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) with Adani Sportsline shelling out a massive Rs 1289 crore for the Ahmedabad side, which emerged as the most expensive franchise.
IPL team owners 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.4669.99 Cr in total bid,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah tweeted.
Moreover, while Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t bid in the auctions, Royal Challengers Bengaluru revealed an interesting strategy that took fans by surprise. Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, Prathmesh Mishra, RCB chairman revealed how they held back investments so that they could bid in the Women’s Premier League.
“We held back all our investments in overseas teams to own a team that aligns with this philosophy and core value, and it gives us immense pleasure to have marked this accomplishment positively.”
Unlike some of the other teams, RCB didn’t invest in upcoming T20 leagues like SA20 and ILT20.
Rajesh V Menon, RCB’s vice-president, said, “We have been following women’s leagues very closely and our scouting team has set their eyes on women cricketers for some time now, as part of RCB Hinterland scouting system, and it gives us immense joy to see it all coming together for a team that sets to play for the inaugural edition of women’s IPL in the country.”
Earlier this month, the BCCI sold the media rights of the Women’s Premier League to Viacom18 for Rs 951 crore, getting a Rs 7.09 crore per match value for five years. Without a ball being bowled, the WPL has become the second biggest T20 league in the world after the IPL.
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 for WPL. Adani Group announced that the team will be named the Gujarat Giants.
Many were already calling the league Women’s IPL but the BCCI secretary revealed the name on Wednesday.
“The BCCI has named the league – Women’s Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin.