The first-ever auction of the Women’s Premier League in Mumbai had more than a few surprises in store as the five franchises pulled out the cheque book and over 400 players went under the hammer.
One of the talking points of the auction was the fact that Harmanpreet Kaur, who is currently captaining the Indian women’s cricket team in South Africa as they bid to win the ICC T20 World Cup, fetched a price of Rs 1.8 crore while Jemimah Rodrigues was signed for Rs 2.2 crore.
Harmanpreet, who was one of the first players to come up for the auctions, was picked by Mumbai Indians after a bidding war between Royal Challengers Bangalore, Delhi Capitals, UP Warriorz and Mumbai Indians.
For Jemimah, who started at a base price of Rs 50 lakh, UP Warriorz, Delhi Capitals, and Mumbai Indians battled before the franchise based in the capital of the country got her for Rs 2.2 crore. Each team had an auction purse of Rs 12 crore each. Deepti Sharma, meanwhile, went to the Warriorz after an intense burst of bidding that saw her price tag go up from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2.6 crore.
“I’m a little bit surprised that Jemimah has gone for more money than what Harmanpreet Kaur has, because the kind of experience that Harman brings in is invaluable. But at the same time I’m not at all surprised at the price tag of Deepti Sharma because she brings in two skills, and is a potential captaincy choice as well. So that is not surprising. But at the same time, this is how auctions go. You have to figure out what is the amount left in the bank and we’ll probably see this throughout the day,” Krishnamurthy, who is a part of Viacom18 ’s expert panel for the first-ever WPL auction, told The Indian Express.
The strategy of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the auction was to go for the big names from the top of the auction, which quickly saw them exhaust nearly half of their purse very early on. They spent Rs 3.40 crore on Smriti Mandhana, which was just over 28 percent of their total purse of Rs 12 crore. They also got players like Ellyse Perry (Rs 1.7 crore), Sophie Devine and Renuka Singh (Rs 1.5 crore) early on. By that time, Delhi Daredevils had not even filled one player on their roster.
Talking about teams’ team strategy to fork out the big bucks for players with leadership qualities, Krishnamurthy said: “Having a leader is very important for any team. Especially in T20 format where you need to be very proactive and don’t have time to sit around and thing what is going to happen. That was the strategy applied by RCB as well. It helped that Smriti’s was the first name in the auction.”
The reactions say it all! 😊🤗
Absolute scenes in the #TeamIndia camp at the #T20WorldCup as they witness the #WPLAuction 👌 👌 pic.twitter.com/z01V1zB0XN
— Women’s Premier League (WPL) (@wplt20) February 13, 2023