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Women’s Premier League Auction: Gujarat Giants, RCB Look To Plug The Gaps

Women’s Premier League Auction: Gujarat Giants, RCB Look To Plug The Gaps

File image of the WPL trophy© BCCI/WPL

With the biggest purse going into the WPL auction on Saturday, last edition’s wooden-spooner Gujarat Giants will look to plug the holes ahead of the 2024 edition of the league, while the four other teams will be keen to fine-tune their squads. Gujarat Giants finished fifth and last in the inaugural edition in March, while another high-profile team Royal Challengers Bangalore finished fourth. A total of 165 players — 104 Indians and 61 overseas, including 15 from Associate nations — will be in contention for the 30 spots, including nine for overseas in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) mini-auction.

The auction will feature 56 capped and 109 uncapped players.

The second edition of the WPL will likely be organised in February-March ahead of the IPL. Unlike the inaugural edition, which was held in one city, the 2024 edition will take place in Mumbai and Bangalore.

Price talk

West Indies’ Deandra Dottin, who was controversially excluded from the Gujarat Giants’ squad ahead of the start of the first season on medical grounds, is one of the two players with the highest reserve price of Rs 50 lakh. Irish-Australian cricketer Kim Garth, who reportedly replaced Dottin in the Giants’ squad, is the other player.

Australia all-rounders Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham, who both played in the inaugural WPL, have a base price of Rs 40 lakh.

South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail and England wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones are the other two cricketers with a base price of Rs 40 lakh.

Veteran Indian cricketers Veda Krishnamurthy, Poonam Raut, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Gouher Sultana and Mona Meshram are in the auction with a base price of Rs 30 lakh.

Australia’s Erin Burns and Sophie Molineux, England’s Danni Wyatt and Tammy Beaumont, Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu and South Africa’s Nadine de Klerk are the other prominent names in the Rs 30-lakh bracket.

Available slots in the teams

The Gujarat Giants’ table could be the busiest during the auction as along with the biggest purse — Rs 5.95 crore — comes the task of finding 10 new players to rebuild their squad after a forgettable first season.

Australia’s Beth Mooney got injured in the first game and was ruled out with India’s Sneh Rana donning the captain’s hat for most part of the season.

Having let go of some quality overseas players such as Sutherland, Wareham, Garth and Sophia Dunkley, the Giants will look to reinforce their bench strength.

Thailand’s 19-year-old Thipatcha Putthawong, who has already played 42 T20Is and has a brilliant economy rate of 4.14, has sparked a lot of interest in the RCB camp.

RCB, who lost six of their eight matches in the last edition and missed the playoffs, have Rs 3.35 crore in their kitty and need another seven players, including three overseas, to complete their squad limit of 18 players.

Last year’s finalists Delhi Capitals may go for a fast bowler given they released the only player from Associate nations, United States’ Tara Norris, who also recorded the first five-wicket haul in the competition.

Delhi Capitals will have a purse of Rs 2.25 crore and have a maximum limit of adding three players, including one overseas, since their squad strength stands at 15 going into the auction.

UP Warriorz will have Rs 4 crore to work with as they look to fill five slots, including one overseas.

For a side, which finished third in the five-team competition, there were many promising performances under captain Alyssa Healy.

However, having let go of someone as skilled and experienced as South Africa’s Ismail, UP Warriorz can be expected to go for another frontline fast bowler to bolster their attack along with filling the void created by the exit of Devika Vaidya.

Champions Mumbai Indians will also have five players to add to their bench, including one overseas, when they get into the action.

With a purse of Rs 2.1 crore, MI did not suffer much in terms of the players released as their core remains intact, and so does skipper Harmanpreet Kaur‘s strategy of stacking the playing XI with all-rounders.

Mumbai Indians may go for young players which they could add to their camp and groom for the future.

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