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WPL auction: Go all-in for Mandhana, chase down Aussies, and prioritise all-rounders


Mandhana was the subject of 28 different bids, while the other five players each had four different teams competing for their services.

As this was the very first player auction for the WPL, there was a lot of learning to be done by all parties involved. At the end of it all, what were the trends, and what were the highlights of the decisions that the franchises took in order to build their teams… a check is enclosed.

Spending nearly 60 million Indian rupees

At the auction, there was a total of INR 60 crore (approximately US$ 7.3 million) available for the five franchises to use towards the purchase of a maximum of 90 players. The limit was almost reached after 87 players have purchased for a total of INR 59.5 crore in expenditures. There were seven players who received bids of up to INR 2 crore, and three players received bids that were higher than INR 3 crore: Smriti Mandhana (INR 3.4 crore), Ashleigh Gardner (INR 3.2 crore), and Nat Sciver-Brunt (INR 3.2 crore) (INR 3.2 crore).

The only teams to spend their entire INR 12 crore purse were Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz; however, neither of these teams reached the maximum player limit of 18, as they only purchased 17 and 16 players respectively. Although they had reached the maximum number of points, Gujarat Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore still had a remaining 5 and 10 lakh, respectively. While this was going on, the Delhi Capitals required only INR 11.65 crore to meet their quota.

The two-horse race for Mandhana The auction got off to a rousing start thanks to Mandhana, who was the most expensive player in the competition. The highest number of times the paddle has been raised for any player is 28, which was accomplished by her receiving it from both the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers.

The highest multiple of any of the 87 players who were sold was achieved by Mandhana’s auction price, which was 6.8 times her base price. There was not a single player who was offered a contract by all five of the franchises, but five athletes—Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Beth Mooney, Marizanne Kapp, and Tahlia McGrath—were offered contracts by four of the five franchises.

Australians Women are in big demand in WPL

The dominance that Australia has displayed in women’s cricket at the international level translated into success for individuals at the WPL auction; they were able to fill 14 of the 30 available slots for players from overseas. Nearly one-fourth of the total prize money split among the five teams was spent on Australian players, amounting to INR 14.25 crore.

At the auction, 57 players from India purchased for a total of INR 32.2 crore, while seven players from England were acquired for a sum of INR 7.35 crore. England has the third-best representation of any country. The only player from an Associate nation to receive a bid was Tara Norris, who did so from the Capitals team. Norris, a left-arm seamer from the United States, didn’t make her debut in international cricket until 2022. However, between 2014 and 2022, she participated in more than one hundred professional limited-overs matches in England.

At this auction, a total of INR 54.25 crore was spent on 57 players with caps, while a total of INR 5.25 crore was spent on 30 players without caps. Only one uncapped player from another country, Laura Harris of Australia, received a bid and was eventually purchased by Capitals for INR 45 lakh. She also finished the auction as the second most expensive uncapped player after Tanuja Kanwar, who was purchased by Giants for INR 50 lakh. Tanuja Kanwar was the previous record holder.

A concentration on All-Rounders

They prioritized all-around players because the total budget for each team was only 12 crores INR. At the auction, there were up to 46 players who could be classified as all-rounders; each team was guaranteed to receive at least seven of these players. The total amount spent on allrounders was INR 34.3 crore, including INR 9.6 crore for nine players hailing from Australia. At the auction, only 17 of the players sold were bowlers who specialized in a certain type of delivery, and the remaining 24 were either batters or wicketkeeper-batters.

Only six of the top ten bowlers currently ranked by the ICC in the women’s Twenty20 International competition found teams. Three of those six were all-rounders, but Megan Schutt was passed over during the initial round of bidding. The total number of batters was eight, and it included three players who could play multiple positions as well as a wicketkeeper who also batted.

The successful bidders, the Delhi Capitals

At the auction table, the Capitals were the most active team, placing bids for a total of 38 different players. They paid the base price or less for nine of the 18 players that they purchased. On fifteen different occasions, they came in second place. Seven of those fifteen bidding battles were won by UP Warriorz.

While this was going on, Mumbai Indians had a less-than-stellar performance. They were unsuccessful in their bids on 11 of the 18 players who received bids from more than one team, and they were only successful in securing six players when there were multiple teams interested in the same player. Despite this, they purchased 11 players at their base price, which is second only to Royal Challengers’ total of 12.

The players with the least and most experienced in the mix

Jasia Akhtar, an uncapped Indian player who is 34 years old, was the oldest player to be purchased at the auction. Erin Burns, Shabnim Ismail, and Harmanpreet were the other three players on the sold list who were going to be 34 years old when the tournament began.

Sonam Yadav and Shabnam Shakil, both of whom are only 15 years old, were also given teams. Sonam arrived in the world one month after Shakil, in July 2007. The English player Alice Capsey is now 18 years old and was born in August 2004. She is the youngest of the players who came from another country.

Image Credits: https://twitter.com/RCBTweets

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