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BCCI invites bids to own teams in women's IPL



Photo: Courtesy

|| AFP ||

India's cricket board has invited bids to own teams in the inaugural women's Indian Premier League, which could become one of the biggest money-spinners in women's sport.

The glittering IPL is the world's top Twenty20 league, with leading global stars including Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes and David Warner playing for different franchises.

It was set up in 2008 and consultants D and P Advisory estimated it was worth $10.9 billion last year.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the formation of a women's version last year when BCCI secretary Jay Shah hinted that five or six teams could be involved.

No putative bidders have so far confirmed their interest, but media reports suggest that the IPL's Rajasthan Royals could seek a women's franchise.

Team backers in men's IPL include Nita Ambani, wife of multi-billionaire Mukesh Ambani, the world's eighth-richest man according to Forbes, who owns the Mumbai Indians, the richest and most successful side in IPL history with five titles to their name.

Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan is also on the list of celebrity owners with Kolkata Knight Riders.

In a statement, the BCCI invited "reputed entities" to pay $6,000 for a copy of the Women's IPL tender documents, which will be available until January 21.

The contest is tentatively set for March to fit between the T20 women's World Cup in South Africa and the start of the men's IPL season.

The cash-rich men's IPL -- which expanded to 10 men's teams to include Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans and 74 matches last year -- is a huge revenue earner for the BCCI.

In December, Sam Curran became its most expensive sale ever in its player auction when Punjab Kings paid 185 million rupees ($2.23 million) for the England all-rounder's services.