Jay Shah, the Honorary Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), said that the organisation has gained a whopping INR 4669.99 crore as total bids for owning teams in the upcoming Women's Premier League (WPL), which he added has broken the record for the inaugural Men's IPL in 2008.
"Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams of the 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."
"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 would bring necessary reforms in women's cricket and would ensure an all-encompassing ecosystem that benefits each and every stakeholder. The @BCCI has named the league - Women's Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin....," wrote Shah in a series of tweets on Wednesday.
The BCCI is all set to unveil the five franchise owners, along with the home cities, for the WPL later on January 25. It is learnt that 17 parties, including seven men's IPL franchises -- Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore -- are in the fray for owning teams in the five-team WPL.
The cities which are shortlisted as home cities for the WPL, as per multiple reports, are Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Dharamsala, Guwahati, Indore, Lucknow and Mumbai. The inaugural edition of the WPL could be held in March this year, with the player auction expected to happen early in February.
Earlier, on January 16, Viacom18 Media Private Limited won the consolidated bid for media rights (i.e., Global Televisions Rights and Global Digital Rights) of the WPL for the period of 2023-2027.
Viacom18 won the rights with a bid of INR 951 crore, which translates to a per-match value of INR 7.09 crore. It is believed that 22 matches could be held for the first three seasons with a possibility of increasing the matches to either 33 or 34 from 2026 onwards.