“Going to be a starting point for something massive”: Women cricketers after WPL auction

12 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Women Sports

Women's cricketers around the world have expressed their excitement for the Women's Premier League auction.

Women’s cricketers around the world have expressed their excitement for the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction, with India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur calling it a “game-changer” and batter Jemimah Rodrigues saying the national team will gain a lot of confidence and go to the next level after playing WPL.

The auction for the inaugural edition of WPL will take place on Monday. “I think it is going to be a game-changer, not only for India but for the world as well. We are excited about it,” said Harmanpreet in a video posted by BCCI.

Jemimah also said, “I think it is going to be a starting point for something massive in women’s cricket worldwide. There are going to be exciting talents and matches. These will give us a lot of confidence. Doing well here and then wearing the Indian jersey will take our team to next level.”

According to Indian opener Smriti Mandhana, this is a watershed moment for women’s cricket. “I always watched men’s IPL and auction and I am really excited that how it will unfold. Hope it goes well, all teams are well-balanced and I get a good team,” added the opener.

Deepti Sharma, an Indian all-rounder, believes that playing alongside and against some of the finest players in the world will be highly helpful to women’s cricket, while batter Shafali Verma believes it will be “excellent for domestic players.”

Some England players are also looking forward to the auction. It will be “the next great thing,” according to Katherine Sciver Brunt.

“This seems like a very big move forward,” added Katherine.

Nat Sciver Brunt also expressed excitement about the auction and WPL. Women’s cricket has been waiting for this opportunity for years, according to all-rounder Danni Wyatt.

“It is finally here. These are some exciting times for us and we cannot wait,” added Wyatt.

England all-rounder Alice Capsey stated that women’s cricket has grown in strength over the years, with the recent U19 T20 World Cup being a tremendous success.

“This (WPL) is going to expand the game even more. It has come at a perfect time. Looking forward to getting picked and playing in India in front of those big crowds,” added Capsey.

The first season of the WPL will be contested in Mumbai from March 4 to 26 across two Mumbai locations, with the player auction taking place on February 13. Capri purchased the Lucknow-based squad at auction on January 25 for INR 757 crore.

The auction for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), which will take place on February 13, will include 409 players, according to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

The inaugural Women’s Premier League Player Auction had 1,525 registrations, with the final list reduced to 409 players. There are 246 Indians and 163 abroad players, with 8 from associate nations among the 409 total. There are 202 capped players, 199 uncapped players, and 8 from associate nations.

The five teams have a total of 90 places available, with 30 reserved for international players. The highest reserve fee is Rs 50 lakh, with 24 players opting to be in the top category. Team India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, and India’s Under-19 T20 World Cup-winning skipper Shafali Verma are among the few Indians who have qualified for the top tier.

Ellyse Perry, Sophie Ecclestone, Sophie Devine, and Deandra Dottin are among the 13 international players who have placed bids under the Rs 50 lakh reserve price. The auction has 30 participants with a starting bid of Rs 40 lakh. The auction begins at 14:30 IST.

The five franchises were purchased for INR 4669.99 crore by the owners of the three IPL teams—Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Capitals—along with Adani Group and Capri Global (about USD 572.78 million). This is the biggest transaction in women’s cricket history. On January 25, the victorious bidders were announced.