Smriti Mandhana stole the thunder in the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction as Royal Challengers Bangalore pipped Mumbai Indians in a bidding war to buy the India vice-captain for ₹3.40 crore (USD 410,000) on Monday (February 13).
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Mandanna was followed by all-rounder Deepti Sharma who was bought by UP Warriorz for ₹2.6 crore.
Mumbai Indians bagged Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur, at a much cheaper price of ₹1.80 crore.
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“Everyone knows Mandhana and Perry, we were pretty committed to the couple of people we wanted to get. Were very happy to get such quality players. It’s a dream result for us to get Mandhana, Perry and Devine,” RCB Director of Cricket Mike Hesson said during a media interaction.
Responding to questions if Mandhana would be the team’s captain, he said, “Smriti has got plenty of captaincy experience and is familiar with the Indian conditions, so highly likely.”
One of the prominent picks during the first round was Australia’s off-spin all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner, who was bought by Gautam Adani-owned Gujarat Giants for ₹3.20 crore (USD 386,000).
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Star Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry received a cool ₹1.70 crore (USD 205,000) winning bid from RCB who also got New Zealand skipper Sophie Devine dirt cheap at base price of ₹50 lakh.
RCB has already exhausted ₹5.60 crore out of ₹12 crore purse and they need to get another 12 players with the rest of the ₹6.40 crore to have a mandatory squad size of 15 players.
UP Warriorz also got England left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone on board for ₹1.80 crore.
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(With inputs from agencies)