The auction for the first-ever Women's Premier League (WPL), a landmark moment in the history of women's cricket, concluded on Monday.
The affair was full of surprises, wholesome moments, unpredictability and thrill that can change the sport and thousands of lives associated with it for the better.
The auction started off with a bang, with Indian star opener Smriti Mandhana becoming the first-ever player to be picked. Royal Challengers Bangalore splurged a massive sum of INR 3.4 crore, making her the most expensive player in WPL. Just moments later, her skipper and batting star Harmanpreet Kaur was picked up by Mumbai Indians for INR 1.8 crore.
International talent from other countries got a lot of attention in the auction. Australia's Ashleigh Gardner (Gujarat Giants for INR 3.2 crore), England's Natalie Sciver-Brunt (Mumbai Indians for INR 3.2 crore), Number one T20I bowler Sophie Ecclestone (UP Warriorz for INR 1.8 crore), Australia's Ellyse Perry (RCB for INR 1.7 crore), New Zealand's Sophie Devine (RCB for INR 50 Lakh), Australian run-machine Beth Mooney (Gujarat Giants for INR 2 crore) and number one T20I batter Tahlia McGrath (UP Warriorz for INR 1.4 crore) being some notable pick-ups.
However, there was some top-class international talent that went unsold in the auction. In a shocker, New Zealand's Suzie Bates, England's Danni Wyatt, South Africa's Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt, Australia's Alana King, Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu were left unsold, depriving the tournament of star power and experience that they bring.
India's Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup heroes also attracted some franchises, with skipper Shafali Verma being picked by Delhi Capitals, Delhi's Shweta Sehrawat, the leading run-scorer in the tournament picked by UP Warriorz. Bengal's Titas Sandhu was picked by Delhi Capitals, bowler Parshavi Chopra was picked by UP and Andhra's Shabnam MD was bought by Gujarat Giants. Mumbai Indians scooped up UP's Sonam Yadav.
Here are all the updated squads of WPL teams:
Delhi Capitals: Jemimah Rodrigues, Meg Lanning, Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Marizanne Kapp, Titas Sadhu, Alice Capsey, Tara Norris, Laura Harris, Jasia Akhtar, Minnu Mani, Poonam Yadav, Taniya Bhatia. Jess Jonassen, Sneha Deepthi, Arundhati Reddy, Aparna Mondal.
Gujarat Giants: Ashleigh Gardner, Beth Mooney, Sophia Dunkley, Annabel Sutherland, Harleen Deol, Deandra Dottin, Sneh Rana, S Meghana, Georgia Wareham, Mansi Joshi, Dayalan Hemalatha, Monica Patel, Tanuja Kanwer, Sushma Verma, Hurley Gala, Ashwani Kumari, Parunika Sisodia, Shabman Shakil.
Mumbai Indians: Harmanpreet Kaur, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Amelia Kerr, Pooja Vastrakar, Yastika Bhatia, Heather Graham, Issy Wong, Amanjot Kaur, Dhara Gujjar, Saika Ishaque, Hayley Matthews, Chloe Tryon, Priyanka Bala, Humairaa Kaazi, Neelam Bisht, Jintamani Kalita, Sonam Yadav.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Indrani Roy, Disha Kasat, Shreyanka Patil, Kanika Ahuja, Asha Shobhana, Erin Burns, Heather Knight, Dane van Niekerk, Preeti Bose, Poonam Khemnar, Komal Zanzad, Megan Schutt, Sahana Pawar.
UP Warriorz: Sophie Ecclestone, Deepti Sharma, Tahlia McGrath, Shabnim Ismail, Alyssa Healy, Anjali Sarvani, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Parshavi Chopra, Shweta Sehrawat, S Yashasri, Kiran Navgire, Grace Harris, Devika Vaidya, Lauren Bell, Laxmi Yadav, Simran Shaikh.
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