WPL Auction 2023: In the first-ever WPL auction, a total of 87 players were sold – 57 Indians and 30 overseas, in which only one was from an associate nation.
The WPL auction was a much-awaited event, as is the inaugural season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), which will start on March 4.
India opener and vice-captain, Smriti Mandhana, became, expectedly, the most expensive player in the WPL auction, with RCB picking her services for a whopping INR 3.4 crores. England’s Nat Sciver (Mumbai Indians) and Australia’s Ash Gardner (Gujarat Giants) were the most expensive overseas players, bought for INR 3.2 crore each.
While the 87 players rejoiced with happiness on their selection at the WPL auction, the rest – more than 400 players went under the hammer – were left with a tinge of sadness at not bagging a WPL deal, and not being able to participate in the revolutionary WPL.
A few of them would have expected themselves to get a bid in the WPL auction, but failed, despite being among the stalwarts of their respective countries.
Here are 3 unlucky players who went unsold in the WPL auction 2023:
Chamari Athapaththu (Base price – Rs 30 lakh)
It was one of the big surprises of the WPL auction that Sri Lanka captain and star all-rounder Chamari Athapaththu, who had set her base price at INR 30 lakh, didn’t find any buyers in the WPL auction.
Carrying the shades of Sanath Jayasuriya, Chamari is a consistent left-handed opener and bowls off-spin regularly. The 33-year-old is a highly rated all-rounder in the circuit with an experience of 108 T20I, wherein she scored over 2000 runs and took 34 wickets. C
Chamari Athapaththu has notched up 1 T20I hundred and 6 fifties in the format.
In the ICC T20I rankings, Chamari is ranked 9th as a batter and 12th in all-rounder’s category.
Suzie Bates (Base price – INR 30 lakh)
Talk of all-rounders not getting picked in the WPL auction, one of the biggest names in world cricket, New Zealand’s Suzie Bates shockingly didn’t find a buyer in the auction room.
An opener and a medium-pacer, Bates has a huge experience of 141 T20Is and 148 ODIs for New Zealand. She’s amassed over 3500 T20I runs and snapped up 55 wickets and is one of the leading pace-bowling all-rounders in the world.
Laura Wolvaardt (Base price – INR 30 lakh)
Another jaw-dropping non-selection the WPL auction was that of Laura Wolvaardt, the 23-year-old who was recently appointed as South Africa women’s skipper for the T20 World Cup.
Laura Wolvaardt is ranked 14th among women’s T20I batters.
The right-handed opening batter has featured in 49 T20Is and 80 ODIs, collecting over 4000 international runs. A skipper of a premier nation, who also has plenty of experience and offers great future potential, going unsold in the WPL auction was a big surprise for the fans, and might even have stunned Wolvaardt.