✍️ Kaustubh Thakur
🗓️ February 23, 2023
Women’s cricket in India has been on the rise since the women in blue played in the 2017 World Cup final. Now with every step of the Women’s Premier League, cricket is changing for the better. The auction was an incredible event that exceeded people’s expectations of what women’s cricket is capable of. It was an incredible day for cricket in general and it changed the lives of some players. The Indian cricket team watched the auction as seen in some footage. And the collective passion and excitement were a sight worth watching.
Smriti Mandhana leads the list of most expensive buys:
RCB bagged Indian vice-captain Smriti Mandhana for a whopping 3.4 Crore. The left-hander was always going to attract the interest of most teams and it isn’t a surprise to see. The 2nd most expensive players were all-rounders Ashleigh Gardner and Natalie Sciver-Brunt. Gujarat Giants splashed 3.2 crores on the Australian and anyone who has seen her in action wouldn’t be surprised. On the other hand, the England vice-captain went to the Mumbai Indians for 3.2 crores as well. Sciver-Brunt has been one of the best players in the world for a long time and she will be an incredible asset to the Mumbai side. UP Warriors bought India’s premium all-rounder Deepti Sharma for 2.6 crores. While her teammate Jemimah Rodrigues went for 2.2 crores to the Delhi capitals.
Mumbai Indians got Harmanpreet Kaur for an absolute bargain:
One player who is not even in the top 10 most expensive buys is Harmanpreet Kaur. The Indian captain was roped in by Mumbai Indians for 1.8 crores which is a steal for a player of her quality. Her batting, bowling, and leadership makes her an all-round package. Which is why it is a little surprising to see her go for less money than some others who don’t offer as much. However, from Mumbai Indians’ point of view, it is brilliant business and they will be ecstatic with having her on their team.
The curious case of Meghna Singh:
15 members of the Indian team which is currently in South Africa went under the hammer as did 3 of the travelling reserves. One of those reserves was seamer Meghna Singh who was the only player in that squad to go unsold. The chances of something like this happening in the men’s IPL are minute. However, it did happen in the SA20 where South Africa’s white-ball captain Temba Bavuma went unsold. The big reason for the fiasco was that she set her base price at 50L which was the highest. When the list of players who had set their base price at the highest came Meghna Singh looked out of place. Even though she is a good bowler, T20I has never been her forte and it is understandable why teams didn’t want to bid for her.
The inaugural WPL auction was a massive success and hopefully, it is just the beginning. A total of 59.5 crores were spent on 87 players. The tournament will kick off right after the T20 World Cup on the 4th of March while the final will be played on the 26th of March. The tournament is path-breaking in more ways than one and while the auction was incredible, the quality of cricket promises to be even better.
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