Initial hesitations were observed while picking up rookie talents and some rushed decisions were also seen but at the end of it all, all five franchises gave their best with a tried and tested formula in selecting and bidding for players in the inaugural edition of the Indian Women’s T20 League.
The auction went underway at the Jio World Convention Centre on the 13th February’s afternoon, S. Mandhana was the first player presented in the bidding action and she set the bar high for every other player. Mandhana saw a thrilling bidding war between two franchises – Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, where Bangalore eventually roped her in for a staggering amount of INR 3.4 crore. It made Mandhana the most expensive player at the auction as well as gave Royal Challengers Bangalore an opportunity to see the India international as their potential captain.
Mandhana’s opening war had set the tone for the entirety of this whole auction for the next seven hours, A. Gardner was the most sought-after overseas player and was bought at INR 3.2 crore, while UP’s own girl, D. Sharma, and J. Rodrigues were also in the mix of being the most expensive buys in the Indian Women’s T20 League. UP Warriorz went in with all forces to secure their ‘home girl’ Deepti for INR 2.6 crore and Delhi Capitals bought Jemimah for INR 2.2 crore, while also taking the signatures of Australia’s legendary captain M. Lanning at INR 1.1 crore – which would seem to be a very low fee for a player of her standards. Delhi also picked up India’s U-19 World Cup-winning captain Shafali Verma at INR 2 crore.
Here is the list of the top 5 most expensive players of the Indian Women’s T20 League 2023 –
- S. Mandhana: Indian batswoman S. Mandhana became the player with the highest bid for a sum of INR 3.4 crore from Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Inaugural auction ceremony.
- A. Gardner: The Kangaroos’ energetic player Ashleigh, who also plays for Sydney in Australia’s Women T20 League, was sold to Gujarat Giants for a mind-blowing amount of INR 3.2 crore with which she became the most expensive foreign player in this auction.
- N. Sciver: An all round player, England’s Natalie was added to Mumbai Indians squad with a price tag of INR 3.2 crore. She is, so far, the only England player to fetch a hat trick in Women’s T20 history.
- D. Sharma: UP Warriorz spent a fortune of INR 2.6 crore on the purchase of Indian all-rounder Deepti. She will be the main sportsperson to look at from her home team.
- J. Rodrigues: Another top-class performer for the Indian national team, showing great skills in the recent match against Pakistan in T20 World Cup, – was taken into its squad for Delhi Capitals for Rs 2.20 crore.
UP Warriorz are yet to decide on a prospective captain and will be declaring the name at a later stage while Delhi Capitals’ know that with Lanning, Shafali, and Jemimah around, they have enough options in the leadership role.
However, the captain of the Indian national team H. Kaur was purchased in the bidding by Mumbai Indians at a slightly lower price of INR 1.8 crore, when some younger internationals got a better deal. P. Vastrakar went to Mumbai Indians for INR 1.9 crore, while R. Singh Thakur and Y. Bhatia earned INR 1.5 crore respectively.
UP Warriorz made some very smart buys when they purchased the players – S. Ecclestone, T. McGrath, and S. Ismail in the early stages of the auction, and owned by Adani the Gujarat Giants started slowly while eyeing only overseas players at first.
The top three most expensive overseas players – A. Gardner, N. Sciver-Brunt, B. Mooney, all had a good day but to everyone’s surprise, S. Bates, T. Brits, L. Wolvaardt, T. Beaumont, S. Luus and D. Wyatt went unsold despite being some of the biggest names. There was only one player from the associate nation, USA’s T. Norris, who was sold in the auction.
Indian Women’s T20 League 2023 will begin from March 4, 2023, but the hype train has already departed after the player auctions. All the team owners have heavily invested their money in players during the auction and will be looking to reap the benefits when the tournament starts.