WPL Auction: Richa most expensive among Indian keepers, sold to RCB for 1.90 cr | Cricket - Hindustan Times

WPL Auctions: Richa Ghosh most expensive among Indian wicketkeepers, sold to RCB for 1.90 crore

By, Siliguri
Feb 14, 2023 06:13 PM IST

Listed under the base price of ₹50 lakh, Delhi and Bangalore tussled to acquire the services of the star wicketkeeper-batter.

The Women's Premier League (WPL) auction for Indian wicketkeepers saw Richa Ghosh grab the headlines. The wicketkeeper-batter, who is popular for her power hitting, was roped in by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for 1.90 crore. The bid comes a day after Richa played a crucial role in India's seven-wicket win over Pakistan at the Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa. Chasing 150, Richa smashed an unbeaten 31 off 20 balls, which featured five boundaries.

Richa Ghosh puts her helmet during Group B T20 Women's World Cup match against Pakistan(AFP)
Richa Ghosh puts her helmet during Group B T20 Women's World Cup match against Pakistan(AFP)

Her auction also triggered a bidding war between Delhi and Bangalore. Listed under the base price of 50 lakh, Delhi and Bangalore tussled till her value rose to 1.70 crore, before things dried down a bit. Two more rounds of bidding before auctioneer Mallika Sagar finally closed it with RCB leading at 1.90 crore.

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WPL Auction 2023: Full list of sold and unsold players

“We have a lot of expectations from her, but I'm more excited about she sharing the RCB dressing room with some of biggest names, in which some are her good friends,” a proud Manabendra Ghosh, Richa's father, told hindustantimes.com over the phone. He is optimistic that WPL will “revolutionise women cricket”.

Asked about her clinical show in the clash against Pakistan on Sunday, the senior Ghosh noted: “She has got her rhythm back. The World Cup is prior must and we as Indians demand the World Cup.”

Richa was overwhelmed with the response she received during the intense auction session, crediting her parents behind her success in the sport. “All my parents wanted me to achieve was to play for India. I want to captain my team and win a major trophy for India. I want to buy a flat in Kolkata. I want my mother and father to settle down there. I want them to enjoy their life now. They have struggled a lot in their life, and they have worked hard a lot for me. Even now, my father does umpire. After the auction, I hope he doesn't have to work so hard,” the wicketkeeper told the official broadcaster after bagging her new RCB contract.

Apart from her Yastika Bhatia, who was also part of India's playing XI against Pakistan, was bought by Mumbai Indians for 1.5 crore. Bhatia's bidding saw interest from Mumbai and UP camp. She was listed under the base price of 30 lakh.

However, Veda Krishnamurthy on Jio Cinema, the official streaming partner of the WPL, felt Mumbai bid too much for her services. She highlighted Mumbai's remaining purse value having acquired only a handful players as the reason behind it.

One of the biggest names, who went unsold in the first round among the Indian wicketkeepers was Taniya Bhatia. She was then roped in by Delhi for 30 lakh in the second round. The wicketkeeper has represented India in all three formats, but has not been in the scenario for sometime now. Bhatia has played 2 Tests, 19 ODIs, and 53 T20Is.

(This story was originally published on Monday (February 13), and updated the next day.)

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