WPL 2023 Auction
At the WPL auction, Smriti Mandhana emerged as the top bidder and was snapped up by RCB for INR 3.4 crore. Meanwhile, the most sought-after overseas players were Ashleigh Gardner from Australia and Nat Sciver-Brunt from England, who fetched a bid of INR 3.2 crore each.
Smriti Mandhana, an accomplished Indian batter, was the most valuable player in the first-ever Women’s Premier League auction held in Mumbai. She was acquired by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a staggering INR 3.4 crore (approximately USD 415,000). Mandhana was the first player to be put up for bidding on Monday, setting the tone for the rest of the auction.
RCB utilized nearly half of their INR 12 crore budget on three players in the first set of marquees. Along with Mandhana, they also secured allrounders Sophie Devine at her base price of INR 50 lakh (approximately USD 61,000) and Ellyse Perry for INR 1.7 crore (approximately USD 207,000).
The Bangalore-based franchise further strengthened their squad by acquiring young wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, who played a crucial role in India’s triumph in the Under-19 World Cup last month. Ghosh, known for her big-hitting abilities, was bought for INR 1.9 crore (approximately USD 232,000).
According to RCB’s director of cricket, Mike Hesson, the franchise was determined to secure the services of Smriti Mandhana, Ellyse Perry, and Sophie Devine. He stated, “Everyone knows Mandhana and Perry, we were pretty committed to a couple of people we wanted to get. We’re very happy to have such quality players on our team. It’s a dream result for us to secure Mandhana, Perry, and Devine. Smriti has captaincy experience and is familiar with Indian conditions, so she’s highly likely to be named the captain.”
While Mumbai Indians failed to buy Mandhana, they managed to beat off competition from RCB and Delhi Capitals for the services of India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, securing her for INR 1.8 crore (approximately USD 220,000). Mumbai’s other key Indian signings included allrounder Pooja Vastrakar for INR 1.9 crore (approximately USD 232,000) and Yastika Bhatia for INR 1.5 crore (approximately USD 183,000).
Allrounder Deepti Sharma was the second-most expensive Indian player, going to UP Warriorz for INR 2.6 crore (approximately USD 317,000). She will be representing her home state of Uttar Pradesh in the league. The Warriorz also made significant investments in Tahlia McGrath and India allrounder Devika Vaidya, acquiring both players for INR 1.4 crore (approximately USD 171,000) each, and Shabnim Ismail for INR 1 crore (approximately USD 122,000).
Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner and England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt were the most expensive overseas players, attracting a joint second-highest bid of INR 3.2 crore (approximately USD 390,000) from Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians, respectively
Gujarat Giants secured the services of Ashleigh Gardner, the top allrounder in women’s T20Is, with a bid of INR 3.2 crore (approximately USD 390,000). Gardner boasts an impressive strike rate of 133.62, the highest among all batters with more than 1000 T20I runs. She recently demonstrated her prowess with the ball by picking up a five-wicket haul in Australia’s dominant win over New Zealand in the first match of the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa.
Mumbai Indians won the bid for hard-hitting middle-order batter and seamer Nat Sciver-Brunt for the same amount, INR 3.2 crore. Sciver-Brunt was the third-highest run-getter in the 2022 Women’s Hundred, with 228 runs in six innings for Trent Rockets at a strike rate of 122.58.
UP Warriorz secured the services of England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone for INR 1.8 crore (approximately USD 220,000), while Gujarat Giants acquired Beth Mooney, who was the leading run-scorer during Australia’s December tour of India, for INR 2 crore (approximately USD 244,000).
Alyssa Healy, the Australian wicketkeeper-batter, was snagged by UP Warriorz for a bargain price of INR 70 lakh (approximately USD 85,000) during set five of the Women’s Premier League auction in Mumbai. Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals secured the services of former ODI and T20 World Cup-winning Australian captain, Meg Lanning, for INR 1.1 crore (approximately USD 134,000). The Capitals continued their overseas shopping spree by acquiring South African allrounder Marizanne Kapp for the highest bid among non-marquee allrounders at INR 1.5 crore (approximately USD 183,000).
Hayley Matthews, the West Indies batter, was the only player who went unsold during the first marquee set, but was eventually acquired by Mumbai during the accelerated phase at the end of the auction for INR 40 lakh (approximately USD 49,000). A few overseas players, including former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu, South Africa captain Sune Luus, and Australians Megan Schutt and Jess Jonassen, were among the surprise omissions before the start of the accelerated phase. However, Jonassen was later bought by the Capitals for INR 50 lakh (approximately USD 61,000), and Schutt was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 40 lakh (approximately USD 49,000).
Capitals secured the services of India’s Jemimah Rodrigues (for INR 2.2 crore or approximately USD 268,000) and Shafali Verma (for INR 2 crore or approximately USD 244,000) and Australian skipper Meg Lanning, providing them with a wealth of leadership options.
When asked about the possibility of a new captain, Parth Jindal, co-owner of Capitals, stated, “It’s too soon to say, but we certainly have a few captaincy options in our ranks. Shafali has already captained India’s Under-19 team, Meg Lanning is a legendary player, and Jemimah is a smart reader of the game. However, the final decision will be made by the coach and will also depend on the other players we acquire.”
Rodrigues kick-started India’s World T20 campaign with a half-century in their victory over Pakistan, while Shafali, who was part of that winning XI, led India to their first Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup last month.
The international players Shafali and Ghosh, being part of the capped sets, commanded high prices during the bidding. By the time the bidding for uncapped players began, the five teams had already acquired a strong base of players, and only a select few from the triumphant India Under-19 team were purchased. The following players from the India Under-19 team were purchased: Titas Sadhu (by Capitals), Shweta Sehrawat (by Warriorz), Sonam Yadav (by Mumbai Indians), Parshavi Chopra (by Warriorz), Shabnam MD (by Giants), and Hurley Gala (by Giants).
Only two associate players were selected during the WPL auction, these being USA’s Tara Norris and UAE’s Mahika Gaur. Norris, a 24-year-old left-arm seamer from Philadelphia, was picked up by Capitals for INR 10 lakh (approximately USD 12,200). She has a strong track record, having been the second-highest wicket-taker for Southern Vipers during their victory in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy in 2020, and also playing for Loughborough Lightning in the Kia Super League. Gaur, at just 16 years old, was sought after by Giants but ultimately missed out due to their already having reached the maximum quota of six overseas players. The first season of the WPL will take place from March 4th to 26th, with all 22 matches being held at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai and the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
Top 10 most Expensive Players in WPL 2023
Top ten most expensive buys
- Smriti Mandhana (RCB) – USD 415,000
- Ashleigh Gardner (Gujarat) – USD 390,000
- Natalie Sciver-Brunt (MI) – USD 390,000
- Deepti Sharma (UP) – USD 317,000
- Jemimah Rodrigues (Delhi) – USD 268,000
- Beth Mooney (Gujarat) – USD 244,000
- Shafali Verma (Delhi) – USD 244,000
- Pooja Vastrakar (MI) – USD 232,000
- Richa Ghosh (RCB) – USD 232,000
- Sophie Ecclestone (UP) – USD 220,000