According to the latest reports, five Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise owners have shown interest in buying teams ahead of the inaugural season of the Women’s IPL (WIPL) in 2023. On Tuesday (January 3), the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) invited applications to buy five teams for the 2023 season, which is expected to be commencing on March 3 and conclude before the start of IPL 2023.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), one of the most successful teams in the history of IPL, have already picked up an ITT (Invitation to Tender) document in the hope to bid for a WIPL team. CSK’s CEO Kashi Viswanathan confirmed that they are interested in buying the WIPL team and are focusing on the economics around it.
As per the reports in Times of India, CSK CEO Kashi Viswanathan said, “We’ve applied to buy the bid document. Now we’ll have to find out about the economics of it. We are interested. If CSK doesn’t have a women’s team, it may not look good. We’d like to promote women’s cricket.”
Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) chairman Ranjit Barthakur also confirmed their interest in picking ITT documents to bid for the WIPL team. He said, “We are picking the bid document.”
Apart from CSK and RR, the other three teams to show interest in WIPL teams are Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, and Delhi Capitals. However, the BCCI is yet to decide the initial price to bid for a WIPL team, which will not discourage potential bidders.
The biggest reason behind the strong interest in WIPL teams is the crucial example of the future development of women’s cricket in India. The second T20I match between India and Australia Women at Mumbai’s Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy last month attracted a record 47,000 attendance – a fact that was reported in the media.
ICC is also conducting the Women’s U-19 World Cup which is set to kick off on January 14 in South Africa and then the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in February. Both tournaments are likely to trigger more crowds and generate a bigger fanbase ahead of the inaugural Women’s IPL in March.