The Women’s Premier League or you may say WPL is actually a women’s Twenty20 cricket franchise league in India. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) owns and operates the Women’s Premier League.
In March 2023 the first season of WPL is played and the team who won the first title of this league is Mumbai Indians.
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History of WPL (Women’s Premier League)
The Women’s T20 Challenge was the first major women’s Twenty20 competition that was held in India. This competition started as a single-match tournament in the year 2018 and it was expanded among three teams, three match competition was held in the year 2019, 2020, and 2020.
In February 2022, Sourav Ganguly – President of BCCI officially announced the plans to establish a women’s version of the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, plans announced in August were more advanced, and in the month of October, it was announced that a five-team tournament will held in March 2023 BCCI. During that time this league was unofficially known as the Women’s Premier League but BCCI later officially gave it the name of Women’s Premier League.
Then BCCI invited bids for the league’s title sponsorship rights until 2027 on 27January 2023
The WPL structure is based on the basic structure of IPL. Basically, there are a total of five teams who play against each other in a double round-robin format and those three teams finished the game with the most points and entered the playoff stages of the competition. If this league got succeed then the Board plans to increase the matches and its franchises in future seasons.
From 4 March 2023 to 26 March 2023, the first season of the league was held. A total of 22 matches took place and all were held at Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. During the first season tickets were provided for free to women audience.
As Jack Genovese of Ampere Analytics, a media research firm, this league is the world’s second highest-valued women’s sports league after the Women’s National Basketball Association which was located in the United States.
There are a total of Five franchises :
1. Delhi Capitals
2. Gujarat Giants
3. Mumbai Indians
4. Royal Challengers Banglore
5. UP Warriorz
Three of the five franchises also have their teams in men’s IPL and those were Royal Challengers Banglore, Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians.
The BCCI plans to disturb 80% of the total profit among the franchise owners during the first five years which they earn from competitions. After that only 60% of the total profit will be shared with them and after it only 50% of the total profit will be distributed among Franchise owners from season 11 to 15. Merchandise, advertising, and ticket sales also help in generating revenue for Franchises.
The first auction was held in Mumbai on 13 February 2023 to purchase the players for each franchise. Approximately 1500 players registered their names and each of the franchises had 12 Crore Rupees to spend and they had to purchase between 15 and 18 players however six of whom could be overseas players.
At the first auction base price was between Rupees 10 lakhs to 20 lakhs for an uncapped player and it was between Rupees 30 lakhs to 50 lakhs for capped players. The purse size for each of the franchises will be increased by 1.5 crore each year in future seasons. To purchase 87 players in the first auction a total of 59.50 crore rupees was spent. The most expensive player purchased was Smriti Mandhana in an auction she was signed for Royal Challengers Banglore for Rupees 3.4 crore and she was appointed as the captain of the team.