A total of 409 players from 15 countries will participate in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL Auction) to be held in Mumbai on February 13. The BCCI said it received a total of 1,525 registrations, of which 246 Indian and 163 foreign players made the final list.
As many as 24 players – 14 overseas and 10 Indian – have listed themselves at the highest base price of INR 50 lakh (USD 60,400 approx), including Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Alisa Haley, Elise Perry, Sophie Ecclestone, Sophie Devine and Dandra Dutton. All the winning Indian squads of the Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup have registered for the auction.
Apart from India, the final list includes players from Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ireland, Zimbabwe and eight associates from UAE, Hong Kong, Thailand, Netherlands and USA. The players are also included.
All five franchises will have INR 12 crore (US$1.46 million approx) each to spend on building their teams. Between 15 and 18 players in each squad, a maximum of 90 players can be bought in the auction which will begin at 2.30 pm IST. Each squad can include up to six foreign players.
On 25 January, the BCCI unveiled Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and owners Adani Group and Capri Global as the five successful bidders for teams in the WPL. While MI, DC and RCB bought teams in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore respectively, Adani Group picked up Ahmedabad, and Capri Global acquired Lucknow. BCCI received INR 4669.99 crore (USD 572.78 million approx) from the sale of the five franchises.
Since then, some franchisees have started structuring their management teams to prepare for the auction. Former England and India captains, Charlotte Edwards and Jhulan Goswami, head the Mumbai coaching staff; Former Australian batsman Rachel Haynes is the head coach of Adani’s Gujarat Giants with Mithali Raj as the mentor. No coaching appointments have been announced yet for Bengaluru, Delhi and Lucknow teams.