The players’ auction for the 2024 edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) will be held in Mumbai on December 9, reported ESPNCricinfo. Also, an additional purse of Rs 1.5 crore will be made available to all the five teams besides the balance they are all left with from the last auction as well as after the recent player releases.
30 slots, including nine overseas, will be filled at the auction. Recently, teams had released their retention lists and overall 60 players were retained. Out of these 60 players, 21 were overseas stars. 29 players were released from their squads. In the inaugural season of WPL, each team was given Rs 12 crore to build their squads. Only two teams, the champions Mumbai Indians and UP Warriorz were able to make full use of this money. Coming to the other three teams, Gujarat Giants had Rs 5 lakhs, Delhi Capitals had Rs 35 lakhs and Royal Challengers Bangalore had Rs 10 lakhs (approx. US $12,015) left as balance.
Giants, who attained a bottom-place finish in the inaugural season, have the highest purse of Rs 5.95 crore, as they had released half their squad. They have ten slots, including three overseas to be filled. Warriorz, who finished mid-table and qualified for playoffs, have Rs 4 crore as their purse, which they can use to fill up five slots, including an overseas player. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), a star-studded unit consisting of Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine and Ellyse Perry, which failed to make an impact last year, has Rs 3.35 crore in their purse to fill up seven slots, including three overseas players. Delhi, the runners-up, have a purse of Rs 2.25 crore to fill three slots, including one overseas.
Mumbai has the smallest purse left, with Rs 2.1 crore. They have five slots to fill, including one overseas. The inaugural WPL held earlier this year was a huge success as many top cricketers from across the world participated in the 22-match affair, played at three venues in Mumbai. There has been no communication from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about dates for the next season and whether it will be played in a home-away format or not.
During last year’s auction, there were seven players who attracted bids as high as Rs 2 crore and three crossed the three-crore mark, namely Smriti Mandhana (Rs 3.4 crore for RCB), Ashleigh Gardner (Rs 3.2 crore for Gujarat Giants) and Nat Sciver-Brunt (Rs 3.2 crore for MI).