RCB pick Smriti Mandhana for 3.4 crore, becomes most expensive buy in inaugural WPL auction

Xtra Time Web Desk: Ace India batter Smriti Mandhana was the most expensive buy in the Women’s Premier League (WPL 2023) auctions held at the Jio Convention Centre on Monday. Smriti was brought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping INR 3.4 crore. England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt (Mumbai Indians) and Ashleigh Gardner (Gujarat Giants) were the most expensive overseas cricketers at WPL 2023 auction, with each going for INR 3.2 crore each.

The Bangalore franchise also added Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry for INR 1.7 crore and New Zealand captain Sophie Devine at a base price of INR 50 lakhs. RCB went all out for India’s pace spearhead Renuka Thakur as she was brought for1.5 crore and another 1.9 crore for wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh.

Mumbai Indians’ brought India captain Harmanpreet Kaur for 1.8 crore while Delhi Capitals broke the bank for Jemimah Rodrigue as they spent 2.2 crore. The Capitals brough Australia’s multiple World Cup & Ashes-winning captain Meg Lanning for 1.1 crore and the inaugural U19 World Cup-winning skipper Shafali Verma for INR 2 crore.

UP Warriorz went all out for Deepti Sharma, splurging 2.6 crores on the all-rounder who became the

second-most expensive Indian.

Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner triggered a bidding war between MI and Warriorz but Gujarat Giants swooped in late to sign the reigning no.1 T20I allrounder. She will be joined by her compatriot Beth Mooney, who bagged 2 crore paycheques. England’s Sophia Dunkley was their third pick, at 60 lakh.

The No.1 ranked T20I bowler, Sophie Ecclestone was in fact the first Englishwoman to go under the hammer, bagging an INR 1.8 crore deal from the Warriorz. The Lucknow-based side also added Tahlia McGrath for 1.4 crore and South Africa pacer Shabnim Ismail for 1 crore to their foreign player roster.

Among the all-rounders, India’s Pooja Vastrakar was the most expensive as she was brought by Mumbai Indians for INR 1.9 crore.

In the accelerated rounds, RCB turned heads again by signing three overseas stars in Heather Knight, Dane van Niekerk and Megan Schutt – at their base price. MI brought hard hitting allrounders Hayley Matthews and Chloe Tryon while Jess Jonassen was similarly picked up the Delhi Capitals.

A total of 87 players were sold – 57 Indians and 30 overseas, of which only one was from an associate nation. USA’s left arm pacer Tara Morris was brought by Delhi Capitals for 10 lakhs.