Mumbai : Mandhana leads the way at WPL auction. The Indian star fetches $410,000 with Gardner bagging $387,000 in IPL's women's version.

Several of the World's top women cricketers earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for their services in the inaugural Women's Premier League auction on Monday, with India's attacking batter Smriti Mandhana leading the way on $410,000.

The left-handed 26-year-old was the first lot on the block at the sale in Mumbai, and was the object of a bidding war.

Nita Ambani, who is the wife of Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani and own the Mumbai Indians franchise, placed several bids for her services before Royal Challengers Bangalore prevailed.

The money-spinning Indian Premier League has transformed the fortunes of cricket globally, and the women's version could rapidly become one of the world's biggest money-spinners in women's sport.

Australian all-rounder Asg Gardner was the second most expensive player in the first batch of sales, with Gujarat Giants paying $387,000 for her.

Royal Challengers Bangalore also bagged Ellyse Perry of Australia for $205,000 and Sophie Devine of New Zealand for her base price offer of $220,000.

England's Sophie Ecclestone went to UP Warriorz for $220,000.

The franchise rights for the five women's teams were auctioned off in January for $572.5 million, while media rights for the first five seasons of the new league were sold to Viacom18 for $116.7 million.

The two deals made the WPL the second most valuable women's league after the WNBA women's basketball league, according to local media reports.

The WNBA, which held its inaugural session in 1997, is reportedly valued at $1 billion.

A total of 449 players were up for auction on Monday but only up to 90 players will secure spots in the tournament, with the five franchises buying a maximum of 18 players each. 

The WPL comes amid growing efforts to expand the women's game globally and Australia's Gardner said ahead of the auction that she had dreamt about the event. [AFP]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!