The Indian Premier League media rights for the 2023-27 cycle and conducting a women’s IPL will be deliberated when the tournament’s governing council meets in Mumbai on Friday.
After 15 years since its inception, the media rights of the IPL will go on sale, and the invitation-to-tender (ITT) for the next four-year cycle is expected to be brought out next week. And ahead of that, the governing council members and the top brass of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to deliberate on the nitty-gritty of the process to ensure that transparency is maintained.
While the panel will discuss a few other topics in the meeting, a major agenda will be hosting the women’s IPL – possibly from next year. This year, too, the Board plans to host the Women’s T20 Challenge in Pune in May – with about three or four teams featuring in the tournament.
However, sources in the Board have indicated to Sportstar that it seriously plans to launch a full-fledged women’s IPL next year and in the meeting, it is expected to come up with a ‘road map’.
“The BCCI is serious about hosting a full-fledged IPL within a year or so, and keeping that in mind, the efforts are on to put together everything so that we have a smooth sailing. The governing council will discuss all the aspects in the meeting and then take a call on the road ahead,” a source in the Board said.
In an interview to this publication last month, the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had confirmed that the Board plans to start a proper women’s IPL soon, and it is believed that the BCCI’s back-end team is already in the ‘planning stages’ in a bid to get the ball rolling. “The BCCI teams are in touch with several stakeholders and hopefully soon, there will be a proper plan about how to go ahead,” the Board source said.
No opening ceremony
This year’s IPL, which begins on Saturday, is unlikely to have any grand opening ceremony keeping COVID-19 protocols in mind.