The inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will be played between March 4 and 26. In an email to the five WPL franchises on Monday, the BCCI confirmed that the first season will be held entirely at two venues in Mumbai: the Brabourne Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium.
In the email, BCCI chief executive officer Hemang Amin also confirmed the player auction for February 13 in Mumbai. Amin said 1500 players had registered and the final list would be released later this week. A maximum of 90 players can be bought at the auction, with each squad ranging between 15 and 18 players.
The start date of March 4 means that the WPL will begin six days after the Women’s T20 World Cup ends on February 26 in South Africa. To reduce the logistical challenges for players and coaches travelling from South Africa to India, BCCI decided to limit the first season to Mumbai.
The auction is also set to take place three days after the World Cup begins on February 10, and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine described it as the “elephant in the room”.
The WPL has already made headlines for becoming the most lucrative tournament in women’s cricket based on the money earned by the BCCI from the sale of media rights and the franchise ownership rights. On January 16, the BCCI announced it had sold the WPL media rights to Viacom for INR 951 crore (USD 116.7 million approx.) for the period – 2023 to 2027; and on January 25 it sold the five franchises for a total of INR 4669.99 crore (USD 572.78 million approx).
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