Women's Premier League
WPL 2023 also known as the Women’s Premier League is a first of its kind franchise tournament in India for women cricketers. The inaugural edition will take place on March 4 onwards when Mumbai Indians take on Gujarat Giants at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Unlike the other two tournaments in this field---Australia’s Women Big Bash League (WBBL) and New Zealand’s Women Super Smash, the WPL 2023 is completely modelled on the men’s IPL where the teams are picked up through a mega auction. The maiden auctions took place in February 2023 where as many as 87 players were sold and teams spent around 60 crores at least.
There are five teams—Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Giants, Delhi Capitals and UP Warriorz.
Each of them will be up against each other in a round-robin format. A total of 32 matches will be played in a span of 22 days. The top four will qualify for semis with only two playing the big final in Brabourne Stadium on March 26. Each team can have at max five overseas players with the one being from the Associate Nation.
The Women’s T20 Challenge was a precursor to the tournament and played a crucial role in the idea becoming feasible. By March 2022, then BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had confirmed that an IPL like tournament will take place. By August, the initiative had gathered momentum and BCCI put out a tender for five franchisees. It received a widespread interest across the corporate world. While the Tata Group came on board as a sponsor, Adani Sportsline bought Gujarat franchise. Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi franchise were owned by the respective men’s team owners. Meanwhile, Capri Global won the bid for the Lucknow franchise named as the UP Warriorz.