165 players in the fray for auction for the 2nd Women’s Premier League
The auction for the T20 Women’s Premier League, ahead of its second edition, will be held in Mumbai on December 9
When the Indian cricket board held a players’ auction in February, ahead of the inaugural T20 Women’s Premier League (WPL), it was seen as a big boost for the women’s game that had lived in the shadows of men’s cricket and IPL. The women’s league will take another big step within a year with BCCI scheduled to hold another players’ auction in Mumbai on December 9 for the second edition.
A total of 165 cricketers are in the list with 104 Indians and 61 overseas players – 15 of them are from Associate Nations – due to go under the hammer. There are 56 capped players among the lot. A maximum of 30 slots are available with the five teams, nine of them for overseas players.
The highest reserve price is ₹50 lakh. Only two players, Deandra Dottin of West Indies and England’s Kim Garth, have chosen to be slotted in that top bracket. Dottin was signed up for ₹60 lakh by Gujarat Giants ahead of the inaugural season only to be withdrawn from the squad days before the tournament in March. Giants had reportedly asked Dottin to furnish a fitness test report which she didn’t. Later, the franchise said Dottin was “recovering from a medical situation”, which the Windies T20 specialist disputed publicly. Dottin was subsequently replaced by Garth, who was let go ahead of the retention deadline. It would be interesting to see how Dottin fares in the auction this time.
Four players – Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham (both Australia), Amy Jones (England) and Shabnim Ismail (South Africa) have a base price of ₹40 lakh.
Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu will also be in the spotlight after her Player-of-the-Series performance with Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) which ended on Saturday – Adelaide Strikers Women beat Brisbane Heat Women by three runs in the final. Athapaththu, 33, though went unsold in the last WPL auction.
Thailand opening batter Natthakan Chantham and USA left-arm seamer Tara Norris are among players from Associate Nations, a grouping that also has players from Netherlands, Scotland, UAE and Hong Kong. Norris was the only Associate player to feature in the inaugural WPL, for Delhi Capitals, who lost to the Harmanpreet Kaur-led Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the final.
It will be interesting to see how Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore do at the auction. Giants had a torrid time picking up players in the inaugural auction. After finishing last in the tournament, Giants released half the squad ahead of the auction and conducted trials at various venues to spot domestic talent. All five franchises have held trials in the last couple of months at multiple venues, watched by their talent scouts.
At the auction, Giants have the biggest purse ( ₹5.95 crore) and the most slots to fill (10). Mentored by Indian legend Mithali Raj, they will hope to make decent buys and fare better in the WPL’s second edition, expected to be held next February-March.
The last time, RCB bought top names Elysse Perry, Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Megan Scutt and Heather Knight, but struggled to find form in the tournament, finishing fourth. The last time, WPL was held in Mumbai. This time, BCCI is thinking of staging the matches at multiple venues – Mumbai, Bengaluru, and probably Delhi.
Catch all the Latest Cricket News, India vs England Live ScoreLive Cricket Score and IPL 2024 Schedule match updates along with Cricket Schedule, WPL 2024 and other related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs