Australian Women Cricketers Interest in Women Premier League inaugural Session|WPL bids details
The inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) franchises have been sold for a staggering combined figure of approximately AUD$811m, a deal that is being hailed as transformative for women’s cricket. Three existing Indian Premier League teams – Delhi Capitals, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore – secured rights, while the other two teams were bought by Adani Group and Capri Global Holdings among 16 competing parties. The sale of the franchises has left many players feeling nervous as they wait for their turn to go under the hammer in the upcoming player auction set to be held early next month, ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
The sale of the five WPL franchises has come as a major financial boon for the women’s game. The highest bid was submitted by Adani Group, who paid approximately AUD$223m for the Ahmedabad franchise, while Capri Global Holdings paid $131m for the Lucknow-based franchise. This follows the WPL’s five-year broadcast deal with Viacom, which was reportedly worth around AUD$167m.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) honorary secretary Jay Shah wrote on Twitter, “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! 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 has also been seen as a way to bring necessary reforms in women’s cricket and to ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder. The auction for the players is set to be held early next month, and many players, including
Australia’s Megan Schutt, have expressed nervousness about the process, comparing it to the feeling of waiting to be picked for teams in the schoolyard. Each squad is set to include between 15-18 players, of which seven can be from overseas, and the playing XI will have a cap of five overseas players, but the fifth must be from an associate country.