The five inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) franchises have been sold for a combined sum of approximately AUD$811 million in a deal that has been described as “transformative” for women’s cricket.
Three existing Indian Premier League teams – Delhi Capitals (AUD $140 million), Mumbai Indians (AUD $156 million) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (AUD $154 million) – acquired rights, while the other two teams were purchased by Adani Group and Capri Global Holdings, between 16 competing parties.
Adani Group’s bid of approximately AUD $223 million to buy the Ahmedabad franchise was the highest of the five purchased, while Capri Global Holdings paid $131 million for the Lucknow-based franchise.
It’s another major financial boon to the women’s game and follows on the heels of the WPL’s five-year broadcasting deal with Viacom, reportedly worth around AUD$167 million.
“Today is a historic day in cricket as the bidding for teams from the inaugural WPL broke the records set in the inaugural men’s IPL in 2008!” BCCI Honorary Secretary Jay Shah wrote on Twitter. “This marks the beginning of a revolution in women’s cricket and paves the way for a transformative journey ahead, not just for our female cricketers, but for the entire sporting association.
“The WPL would bring needed reforms to women’s cricket and would ensure an inclusive ecosystem that benefits every stakeholder.
“The BCCI has named the competition a Women’s Premier League (WPL). Let the journey begin.”
The first WPL auction will be held early next month ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, and Australian swing bowler Megan Schutt has compared the new experience of submitting her name to the nervous feeling of waiting to be chosen. be for teams in the school yard.
Each team will contain between 15 and 18 players, seven of which may be from abroad.
However, each playing XI has a limit of five foreign players, but the fifth must be from an associated country.
That leaves 30 places for foreign players from fully affiliated countries, and Schutt said she expected most, if not all, of Australia’s top players to have put their hats in the ring.
“We’ve all talked about whether we put our names in or not… we’re all a little nervous to be honest,” Schutt said after the first T20I against Pakistan in Sydney.
“Nobody wants to be that kind of kid like in high school where your name isn’t called and nobody picks you, so it’s a little nerve-wracking.
“It’s an exciting opportunity…I hope pretty much every cricketer in Australia puts their name on the hat, to be honest.
“I expect them. Again, there are only (limited) international slots, so it’s going to be pretty tough.”
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Tuesday 24 Jan: Australia won by eight wickets
Thursday 26 Jan: Blundstone Arena, Hobart, 7:05pm
Sunday January 29: Manuka Oval, Canberra, 1:45pm
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Australia T20I Selection: Meg Lanning (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham
Pakistan T20I Squad: Bismah Maroof (c), Aiman Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Fatima Sana, Javeria Khan, Muneeba Ali, Nashra Sandhu, Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz, Tuba Hassan