BCCI is set to stage the first ever women’s IPL ahead of the men’s IPL which will take place in late March and early April this year. Moreover, this is also the first ever and the board has asked the selectors to create a pool of women’s players for the tournament.
According to a report in Cricbuzz, the pool will consist of Indian and foreign players. The Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry has given the green light for the preparation of the tender for the Franchise and Media Rights Auction and they are expected to be launched soon. The franchise auction will be followed by a media rights bid, the reports said.
Here, it must be mentioned that the Women’s IPL (WIPL) is the first tournament of its kind. The Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) – the only notable women’s cricket franchise tournament, does not operate on an auction model.
Since WIPL franchises will select their teams by the talent available, having an adequate pool of players to choose from is essential. Earlier, the BCCI used to hold the Women’s T20 Challenge, which is a three-team affair with four matches each. The tournament was held between the IPL league stage and before the start of the IPL tournament.
Earlier 18 Cricketnext reported how BCCI, which is looking to sell five franchises for the upcoming Women’s T20 League starting in March 2023 via closed tender, has kept the base price at Rs 400 crore (US$50 million approx).
The Cricket Board came to this decision by keeping in mind the value of the most expensive franchise sold back in 2007-08 – Mumbai Indians for US$111.9 million (roughly Rs. 446 crore) at a price of Rs 40/$.
The board expects to sell the concession for between Rs 1,000 and 1,500 crore, or even more, depending on what kind of interest the auction generates once the bid document is issued. However, no one is yet ready to talk about these predictions officially.
“The winning franchise will pay the title fee to the BCCI over five years in equal instalments and will continue to own the property in perpetuity, as in the men’s IPL,” the people added.
The BCCI has asked the existing men’s IPL team owners to participate in the bid but the bidding process is open to any and all investors who meet the Cricket Board’s minimum eligibility criteria. There is no guarantee of any kind whatsoever that should an existing IPL franchise owner’s offer match that of a new investor, any preference should be given to the existing franchise owner.