The 2023 Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction has recently concluded. Among the players that were in the auction, Indian women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana was the most expensive buy at the event. She was acquired by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for Rs 3.4.
RCB and Their Acquired Players
The inaugural Women’s Premier League auction was held on Monday in Mumbai. Mandhana was the first to come up for bidding at the auction, and a bidding war sparked between RCB and Mumbai Indians. The bidding war took a while before RCB won.
RCB spent nearly 50% of their INR 12 crore purse on three players in the first marquee set. In addition to acquiring Mandhana, RCB got all-rounders Sophie Devine at her base price of 50 lahks and Ellyse Perry for 1.7 crores. They also got big-hitting 19-year-old wicketkeeper Richa Ghosh, who featured in India’s victorious Under-19 World Cup campaign last month, for 1.9 crore
When questioned about their bid for Madhana, RCB director of cricket Mike Hesson said, “Everyone knows Mandhana and Perry, we were pretty committed to the couple of people we wanted to get.”
“We’re very happy to get such quality players. It’s a dream result for us to get Mandhana, Perry, and Devine. Smriti has got plenty of captaincy experience and is familiar with the Indian conditions, so highly likely [she’ll be captain].”
Response to Madhana Becoming the Most Expensive Buy in WPL
At the time of the auction, sources say that Madhana was watching the event with her teammates. A video shared by Jio Sports on Twitter captured the moment that Madhana and her teammates learned that the player was bought for Rs 3.4.
— JioCinema (@JioCinema) February 13, 2023
The wholesome video showed Madhana and her India teammates erupting in celebrations once the bidding was over and congratulating the opener while members of the Harmanpreet-led side joined in the celebrations with ‘RCB’ chants.
Who is Smriti Mandhana?
Smriti Mandhana is regarded as one of the finest openers on the Indian women’s national team. played 4 Tests, 77 One Day International (ODIs), and 112 T20Is for Team India. In 2013, the 26-year-old made her international debut against Bangladesh Women at the Reliance Stadium.
In an interview after the auction, Madhana said, “We have been watching the auction of men’s. It is such a big moment for women to have an auction of this sort. The whole thing is exacting. RCB’s legacy is big, they have built a big fan base. Hope we both can together build a big team. Namaskara Bengaluru, excited to wear the red and gold and aim for the cup.”
Other Expensive Buys at the WPL Auction
There were many high bids made in the 2023 auction alongside Madhana’s. Australia allrounder Ashleigh Gardner and England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt received the joint second-highest bids at Rs 3.2 crore; bought by Gujarat Giants and Mumbai Indians, respectively.
Aside from these players, allrounder Deepti Sharma received the second-highest bid for an Indian player, with UP Warriorz buying her for Rs 2.6 crore.