The five franchises in India’s first Women’s Premier League have been sold for £465million.
The WPL, which takes place in March, is a women’s version of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the largest Twenty20 franchise competition in the world.
The owners of three existing IPL teams – Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals – have secured the rights for the women’s franchises.
The other two teams were awarded to Adani Group and Capri Global.
These teams will be based in Ahmedabad and Lucknow respectively.
The owners of four other IPL franchises, Kolkata Knight Riders, Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, failed with their bids.
Isa Guha, a former England cricketer and BBC Test Match special commentator, described the deal as “a historic day for women’s football.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) previously sold WPL media rights to Viacom 18 for around £96million.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah called the deal “transformative” for women’s cricket.
A player auction will now take place ahead of the tournament, which is expected to take place in early February.
Each team can register up to seven foreign players, with England stars such as spinner Sophie Ecclestone and versatile Nat Sciver expected to be among the priciest.
The player registration process has already begun, with ex-England spinner and BBC Test Match Special summarizer Alex Hartley confirming his application on social media.
Previously, India hosted the Women’s T20 Challenge, an invitational event which started with an exhibition match in 2018 before expanding to three teams in 2019.