Last week, BCCI had released a tender inviting bids to own, operate the five WIPL franchises, which will finally start from March 3 to Match 26.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to reveal the names of five franchises that will feature in the inaugural edition of Women’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and the cities they will operate from on January 25, reported ESPNCricinfo on Thursday.
The financial bids of these franchises, currently sealed in envelopes will be opened on that day. BCCI has however pointed out in its tender document that it is not “obliged to accept the highest monetary offer” and would look for ways for bidders to work towards the betterment of women’s cricket in the country.
Last week, BCCI had released a tender inviting bids to own, operate the five WIPL franchises, which will finally start from March 3 to Match 26. In the Invitation to Tender (ITT) document, BCCI has pointed out that a single bidder can contest for more than one city. BCCI has shortlisted a total of 10 cities and their venues in the tender.
The list includes names like, Ahmedabad (Narendra Modi stadium, capacity 112,560), Kolkata (Eden Gardens, 65,000), Chennai (MA Chidambaram stadium, 50,000), Bangalore (M Chinnaswamy stadium, 42,000), Delhi (Arun Jaitley stadium, 55,000), Dharamsala (HPCA stadium, 20,900), Guwahati (Barsapara Stadium, 38,650), Indore (Holkar stadium, 26,900), Lucknow (AB Vajpayee Ekana cricket stadium, 48,800) and Mumbai (Wankhede / DY Patil / Brabourne Stadiums).
Though three venues are listed for Mumbai, BCCI has said that one of the three grounds will be used on basis of “availability and other factors”. The current plan of having a 10-city pool is different from what BCCI had submitted to state associations of the sport at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last year. Back then, BCCI intended to either pick one city from each of the six zones across India or hold the tournament in half-a-dozen cities without proper home basis for five teams.
Except for Dharamsala, Guwahati and Indore, other seven cities serve as home bases for teams in Men’s IPL. BCCI has set no base price, bidders have been asked to quote a price for 10 seasons. Bidders also have the option for contesting for more than one franchise/city, but board has said that only one franchise will be given to a successful bidder. “The stadium with the highest bid amount will be awarded first,” the BCCI said. “Thereafter, the stadium with the next highest bid amount will be awarded,” he added.
In case two of the highest bids for a single venue turn out to be equal, BCCI has said that a re-bid would take place. If the highest bids for two venues and two bidders are the same, BCCI will have the “discretion to decide the order”.
In case a bidder raises top bid for more than one ground, BCCI has liberty to decide the venue.
Based on information from ITT, the first three seasons from 2023-2025 will consist of 22 matches. In league phase, each team will play the other twice (A total of 20 matches) and the table topper will progress to the final. Second and third-finishing teams will play in an eliminator to decide on the finalist.
BCCI has also said that March will stay as the window for WIPL. From the 2026 season onwards, the tournament could feature “33-34 matches” but the board has not provided details on the format of the tournament.
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