The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited bids for the rights to own teams in the inaugural Women’s IPL that is set to get underway from 3rd March to 26th March reportedly, this year with five or six teams potentially squaring off and with the domestic calendar also adjusted to accommodate the Women’s IPL in the global calendar, we can see the initiative from BCCI’s end to organize the league.
The BCCI in a press statement said, “The Governing Council of the IPL invites bids from reputed entities to acquire the right to own and operate a team in Women’s Indian Premier League, through a tender process. The (Invitation to Tender) will be available for purchase till January 21, 2023.”
Media reports are suggesting that the men’s IPL team, Rajasthan Royals might want to invest in a women’s team and other front runners include Royal Challengers Banglore, Punjab Kings, Mumbai Indians and even Kolkata Knight Riders who might throw their hats in the ring and we have seen a number of IPL teams send scouts to identify talent which is a welcome sight in how these franchises want to spot, groom and nurture future talent. The BCCI has asked the ‘reputed entities’ to pay a non-refundable fee of Rs. 5 Lakhs and the deadline is till 21st January. It has been understood that any interested party will have to buy the tender documents and only those who satisfy the eligibility criteria in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) subject to other terms and conditions will be allowed to bid and it has been clarified that merely purchasing the tender will not entitle any person to bid. The BCCI has the right to cancel or amend the bidding process at any stage and the matter will be at its discretion.
In earlier news, the media rights were up for sale with a lot of parties expressing their interest and purchasing the tender documents and bidding for the lucrative broadcasting rights. The likes of Disney Star, Viacom 18, and Sony Network to name a few among the reported 10 parties have expressed their desire and perhaps the announcement will be made shortly by the BCCI after screening is done and then the parties selected can place their closed bids on the 12th of January.
The Women’s IPL is certainly the need of the hour owing to the stupendous performances of the women’s team in various bilateral and multinational tournaments. Over the years, we have seen the exhibition Women’s T20 Challenge being organized alongside the men’s IPL but having a Women’s IPL will certainly change the way women’s cricket is perceived and consumed in India. The Women’s Big Bash League is Australia’s domestic T20 league, whereas the Women’s Super Smash is New Zealand’s and England also hosts the ‘The Hundred’ tournament for women so it was time that the BCCI invested in a franchise-based T20 tournament and is certainly a welcome step in the right direction. Exciting times await us!
I am a first year postgraduate student pursuing a MA in Media and Communication Studies at Christ University, Bengaluru. I am a podcaster, blogger and an avid cricket fan. When not glued to cricket matches, you can find me submerged in books and thinking about cricket all the time.