The player auction for the inaugural Women’s Indian T20 League was completed successfully yesterday with five franchises breaking the bank to select 87 players from across the world into their teams.
A total of ₹59.5 crores was spent by the franchises in the auction, with Smriti Mandhana fetching the highest bid from Team Bangalore at ₹3.4 crores. Australian and English stars were in high demand throughout the night, while players from associate countries did not receive the expected interest from any of the five franchises.
As the BCCI gears up to hold the first-ever Women’s Indian T20 League, here’s a look at the top domestic and overseas players who received the best bids at the auction.
#1: Smriti Mandhana – Team Bangalore – ₹3.4 crores
#2: Deepti Sharma – Team Uttar Pradesh – ₹2.60 crores
#3: Jemimah Rodriguez – Team Delhi – ₹2.2 crores
India’s batter Smriti Mandhana became the most expensive player at the inaugural Women’s Indian T20 League auction, fetching a bid of ₹3.4 crores from Team Bangalore. The first player to come for bidding on Monday, the star batter received interest from Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi, with Team Bangalore ultimately paying almost a quarter of their total purse for the star.
The 26-year-old is expected to go for a high price even before the auction, but the sum that Team Bangalore paid exceeded anyone’s expectations.
Team Bangalore went with a strategy similar to the one they adopted for the Men’s Indian T20 League back in 2008, picking big stars in the team to attract a massive fan following and increase their brand value. It is expected that Smriti Mandhana will lead the team from the front as the team’s captain, in spite of Ellyse Perry’s presence in the team.
Deepti Sharma became the second-most-expensive Indian player at the auction with the 25-year-old joining Team Uttar Pradesh for ₹2.60 crores.
She saw an intense bidding war from both Team Delhi and Team Mumbai with Team Uttar Pradesh swooping in late to claim the all-rounder. With prolific performances for the Women in Blue in recent times, Sharma is expected to play a vital role for Team Uttar Pradesh.
Jemimah Rodriguez, who announced her return to form with a stellar inning against Pakistan in the Women’s T20 World Cup, has fired up the auction with a ₹2.2 crore bid from Team Delhi.
Team Uttar Pradesh and Team Mumbai also wanted to rope in the star to their teams but were outbid by Team Delhi who were intent on adding the 22-year-old to their lineup.
Shafali Verma, captain of the World Cup-winning U19 side, fetched ₹2 crores at the auction, joining Team Delhi. Richa Ghosh, who was critical in India’s victory over Pakistan on Sunday, was roped in by Team Bangalore for ₹1.9 crores, becoming the highest-paid wicketkeeper in the tournament.
#1: Ashleigh Gardner – Team Gujarat – ₹3.2 crores
#2: Beth Mooney – Team Gujarat – ₹2 crores
#3: Ellyse Perry – Team Bangalore – ₹1.7 crores
The world’s No.1 all-rounder hit the jackpot on Monday, becoming the highest-paid overseas player in the auction.
The WBBL Player of the Year’s value quickly soared in the auction with Team Mumbai and Team Uttar Pradesh bidding fiercely for the 25-year-old. Team Gujarat then entered the fray at the last moment, cornering the star for a whopping ₹3.2 crore.
After taking a five-wicket haul in the opening match of the T20 World Cup for Australia, Ashleigh Gardner is in the form of her life and is expected to play a key role in a relatively weak Team Gujarat. Ashleigh Gardner is one of the 14 Australians sold at the auction with members of the world’s No.1 team seeing huge paydays.
Beth Mooney and Ellyse Perry were the other two Australians that sparked bidding wars among franchises.
Beth Mooney has been Australia’s run-machine in recent years with Team Gujarat paying ₹2 crores for the 29-year-old.
Ellyse Perry joins Team Bangalore at a price of ₹1.7 crores. With her experience, stature, and abilities with both the bat and the ball, Perry is likely to be a star performer for the franchise this season.
#1: Nat Sciver-Brunt – Team Mumbai – ₹3.2 crores
#2: Sophie Ecclestone – Team Uttar Pradesh – ₹1.8 crores
English all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt became the highest-paid overseas player along with Ashleigh Gardner on Monday with Team Mumbai shelling out ₹3.2 crores for the star player.
Nat Sciver-Brunt has returned to cricket after a long break but is in good form in the ongoing T20 World Cup. Seven of the 27 English players in the auction were sold with Mumbai also clinching right-arm fast-bowler Isabelle Wong’s services.
Sophie Ecclestone has become the highest-paid spinner at the auction with the 23-year-old fetching ₹1.8 crores from Team Uttar Pradesh. The world’s No.1 bowler in T20 cricket, Sophie Ecclestone, is likely to be the top-performing bowler in the upcoming season.
Sophia Dunkley, Heather Knight, and Alice Capsey are the other English players to receive bids at the auction.
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