A day after the BCCI invited bids to own and operate IPL teams in the inaugural five-team Women's Indian Premier League (WIPL), scheduled for March this year, five of the IPL franchises have shown interest in buying a team in the league, as per a report.
The Times of India reported that Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Punjab Kings are all interested in investing in a team in WIPL. CSK has already started the process of buying the ITT document.
"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," CSK CEO Kashi Viswanathan told TOI.
Apart from CSK, Rajasthan Royals chairman Ranjit Barthakur confirmed that "We are picking the bid document.”
According to a source, the BCCI has not set a base price for buying a team.
"It seems BCCI has not kept a base price to buy a team in WIPL, which is a wise decision. If you keep a very high base price, you will scare off potential investors. I think everyone is smart enough not to want to lose money. They may not mind some losses, but not heavy losses. If the base price is, say Rs 400 crores, teams would lose Rs 50-80 crores per year, and I can't imagine anyone having the appetite for that," a source told TOI.
The massive turnout in Mumbai for the India-Australia T20I series in December — a record 47,000 fans turned up for the second game at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, has triggered interest amongst the IPL franchises and other investors in WIPL.
Also, the inaugural ICC Women's Under-19 World Cup, which will kick off on January 14, followed by the Women's T20 World Cup in February is expected to build up the interest of fans in quality women’s cricket.
The opening season of WIPL is likely to be played from the first week of March to the end of the month before the IPL kicks off. It will have five teams. Also, it is expected that the tournament will be played in Mumbai itself which has three world-class grounds- Wankhede Stadium, DY Patil Stadium, and Brabourne Stadium.
(Times of India inputs)