Smriti Mandhana became the first-ever player to be sold in the inaugural WPL Auction and the dashing left-handed Indian opener will play for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the maiden season of the Women’s Premier League.
The WPL 2023 auction kickstarted on Monday afternoon in Mumbai.
The Mumbai batter was the first player from the marquee set to be up for grabs, and straightaway Mumbai Indians owner Neeta Ambani had her paddle up for the Indian vice-captain at her base price of INR 50 lakh.
There was sure to be competition from other franchises, and it soon became an fierce bidding war between MI and RCB.
Both the franchises traded bids swiftly before slowing down as the price went up.
Eventually, after RCB’s bid of INR 3.4 crore, MI backed down, and Mandhana was sold to RCB.
Smriti Mandhana will be seen in the red of RCB during the WPL 2023.
Smriti is India’s vice-captain, deputy to skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, and is one of the best batters in the world. She is likely to be named as RCB’s captain, and the southpaw already has a massive fan following in India and beyond.
She has already played in the Women’s Big Bash League and the Women’s Hundred. Among players to have scored over 200 runs at the Women’s Hundred last year, her strike rate of 151.79 was second-best.
The left-hander has so far scored 2651 T20I runs at an average of 27 and 3073 at 43 with 5 ODI centuries, and 45 half-centuries in both formats combined.
WPL Squads so far:
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Ellyse Perry
Mumbai Indians: Harmanpreet Kaur
Gujarat Giants: Ashleigh Gardner
UP Warriorz: Sophie Ecclestone