It will be a big day for women’s cricket in India on Monday (January 23) as a clear picture will emerge as to who are all actually interested in investing in it big time. Those who have taken the Invitation To Tender (ITT) document for the Women’s Indian Premier League (WIPL) will have to submit the technical bids in just hours from now. The time starts at 10 AM on Monday.
The financial bids will need to be submitted two days later but the technical bids will provide a good indication about the parties interested in buying the five WIPL teams, which will be announced after the financial bids on Wednesday (January 25).
It is obvious that some big corporates will be among those five given that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has imposed a net worth clause of INR 1000 crore. There is heavy speculation on two of the biggest corporates of India and the world – the Ambanis and the Adanis – and Monday’s proceedings could confirm that.
With Mumbai Indians being the richest IPL franchise, the Ambanis are expected to participate in the WIPL auction in a big way but there has not been much talk of late about the Adanis. They have been quite under the radar after perceived disappointment in the IPL auction where they fell short of landing the Ahmedabad franchise. Wiser with that experience, they could be playing smart this time around and have maintained a low profile, avoiding any kind of publicity and public attention.
A team in Ahmedabad anyway will be in high demand while Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Kolkata, Mumbai and Nagpur are the other cities offered by the BCCI as team bases.
It is obvious that the IPL sides will have an advantage if they manage to buy the WIPL teams but speculation on the eve of technical bidding is that a few big franchises could stay away from the auction. Teams like SunRisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals are among others who are expected to participate.
Among non IPL participants, it is not clear who will turn up but as previously reported by Cricbuzz, Shriram Group, Nilgiri Group and AW Katkuri Group, APL Apollo, Haldiram, Chettinad Cement, JK Cement, Capri Global have taken the ITT. The Naman Group and Uday Kotak are also among the parties who are believed to have joined the list.
Normally the submissions of bids – technical and financial – happen on the same day but after the CVC experience, conducting due diligence on which took a lot of time for the BCCI, the board officials have fixed separate days for technical and financial bids. The BCCI wants to complete the verification process totally before coming to the financial bidding, which is a closed process.