WPL Auction: 87 players sold for Rs 59.5cr; Mandhana most expensive
NEW DELHI: Star India opener Smriti Mandhana raked in the moolah as she was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 3.40 crore at the first ever Women’s Premier League auction in Mumbai on Monday.
The five franchises were out on a shopping spree as a total of Rs 59.50 crore was spent to buy a total of 87 players.
It was a two-way battle between Mumbai Indians and Bangalore for Mandhana where the latter eventually outbid the Mumbai-based franchise. Mandhana whose base price was Rs 50 lakh hit the pay dirt and eventuually ended up as the most expensive buy of the auction.
As it happened: WPL Player Auction
Aussie all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner, who recently starred in team’s first win at the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup against New Zealand became the second highest buy of the day with Gujarat Giants paying Rs 3.2 crore for her services. England all-rounder Natalie Sciver was also bought for Rs 3.2 crore by the Mumbai franchise.
Another Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry was also picked up by Bangalore for Rs 1.7 crore.
“Everyone knows Mandhana and Perry, we were pretty committed to the couple of people we wanted to get. We’re very happy to get such quality players. It’s a dream result for us to get Mandhana, Perry and Devine,” RCB Director of Cricket Mike Hesson said during a media interaction.
India’s T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur became Mumbai’s first buy of the day as she was bought for Rs 1.8 crore.
Seasoned India all-rounder Deepti Sharma was sold to UP Warriorz for Rs 2.60 crore as she became the second highest Indian buy of the day.
Delhi Capitals made their first buy of the day in form of Jemimah Rodrigues, who was bought for Rs 2.20 crore. They pulled off a coup by roping in one of contemporary women’s cricket’s best leaders Meg Lanning of Australia for Rs 1.10 crore.
Teen star Shafali Verma, who led India to inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup title was also bought by Delhi for Rs 2 crore.
Renuka Singh was bought by Bangalore for Rs 1.5 crore while New Zealand’s Sophie Devine was also picked up by them for her base price of Rs 50 lakh. England all-rounder Natalie Sciver went to Mumbai for Rs 3.2 crore.
UP Warriorz’ first pick of the day was England’s Sophie Ecclestone, who was bought for Rs 1.8 crore.
Mandhana, who watched the auction with her team cheering each bid, was ecstatic.
“We have been watching auction of men’s (players). It is such a big moment for women to have an auction of this sort. The whole thing is exacting. RCB’s legacy is big, they have built a big fan-base. Hope we both can together build a big team,” Mandhana said.
UP Warriorz also got England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone on board for Rs 1.80 crore.