WPL: Inaugural season set to be played from March 4-26 in Mumbai

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MUMBAI: The first-ever season of Women’s Premier League (WPL) will be played from March 4 onwards, with the final scheduled for March 26, reported ESPNCricinfo on Monday.

In an email sent to all five WPL sides on Monday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed that two Mumbai venues, namely Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium, will be utilised for the tournament.

BCCI CEO Hemang Amin also confirmed in the email that the player’s auction will take place in Mumbai on February 13. Amin said that 1,500 players have registered for it and the final list will be released later this week. A maximum of 90 players can be bought in the auction, with each squad having 15-18 players each.

The start date of March 4 means that WPL will start eight days after the conclusion of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on February 26 in South Africa. For the purpose of reducing logistical challenges for players and coaches travelling from there, BCCI has decided to keep the inaugural edition of the tournament in Mumbai.

The auction will also be taking place on February 13, which is three days after starting of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. 22 games will be played in the first-ever WPL.

The five franchises were acquired by the owners of the three IPL teams—Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Capitals–along with Adani Group and Capri Global for a total of INR 4669.99 crore (about USD 572.78 million). This represents the largest deal ever made in women’s cricket. The successful bidders were announced on January 25.

BCCI’s secretary Jay Shah confirmed the news and shared a tweet regarding the announcement.

“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,” tweeted Jay Shah.

The three IPL teams, Mumbai, Capitals, and Royal Challengers settled in the same cities that serve as their IPL hubs: Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru.
On January 28, BCCI announced the release of the Request for Proposal for Title Sponsorship Rights for Women’s Premier League Seasons 2023-2027.

“The BCCI invites bids from reputed entities for acquiring the title sponsorship rights for Women’s Premier League Seasons 2023-2027,” said a statement from the governing body of the sport in the country.

“The detailed terms and conditions governing the tender process including eligibility requirements, a process for submissions of bids, rights and obligations of the title sponsor, etc. are contained in the ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) which will be made available on receipt of payment of a non-refundable fee of INR 1,00,000 (Indian Rupees One Lakh Only) plus any applicable Goods and Services Tax. The procedure to procure the RFP documents is enlisted in Annexure A to this notice. The RFP will be available for purchase till February 9, 2023.”

“Interested parties are requested to email the details of payment made for the purchase of the RFP to rfp@bcci.tv, as per the procedure laid down in Annexure A. It is clarified that the RFP documents shall be shared only upon the confirmation of payment of the non-refundable RFP fee.”

“Any interested party wishing to submit a bid is required to purchase the RFP. However, only those satisfying the eligibility criteria set out in the RFP and subject to the other terms and conditions set out therein, shall be eligible to bid. It is clarified that merely purchasing the RFP does not entitle any person to bid.”

“BCCI reserves the right to cancel or amend the bidding process at any stage in any manner without providing any reason,” concluded BCCI’s statement.

Ever since its announcement, WPL has received a joyous, highly-welcoming response from the women’s cricket fraternity, which hopes that it takes their game to higher heights. (ANI)

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