Mumbai, Dec 9 (IANS): Uncapped Indian allrounder Kshavee emerged the biggest gainer from the Women's Premier League 2024 Auction, bagging a whopping Rs 2 crore bid for a base price of Rs 10 lakh while fellow Indian Vrinda Dinesh went for Rs 1.30 crore as the franchises focussed on Indian players with multiple skills.
Kahsvee and Annabel Sutherland of Australia emerged as the biggest buys of the mini-auction going for Rs crore each while three players -- Vrinda Dinesh (1.30 cr), Shabnim Ismail (Rs 1.20 cr) of South Africa and Phoebe Litchfield (1.00 cr) of Australia made up the top five buys with
Royal Challengers Bangalore picking Ekta Bisht of India for Rs 60 lakh.
In all 30 players out of the total 160 that went under the hammer were picked by the five franchises, who collectively spent a total of Rs 12.75 crore. The thrust was on Indian players as only nine foreign players were recruited through this auction. A total of Rs 6.85 crore was spent on Indian players while Rs 5.9 crore was spent on foreign players. In all, Rs 4.9 crore of funds remained unutilised.
The focus however, was Kashvee Gautam as she turned out to be the biggest gainer as Gujarat Giants broke the back to bag her. Having released the maximum number of players after the first edition, the Giants had the most funds and they went for Kashvee with full confidence and got the player they wanted.
Gujarat Giants made a winning bid of a whopping Rs 2 crore for Kashvee Gautam, a 20-year-old allrounder from Chandigarh, making her the joint-most expensive player with Annabel Sutherland of Australia in the first phase of the WPL 2024 auction.
A right-handed batter and a right-handed medium pacer, Kashvee has recently played for India A against the England A women in three T20Is in Mumbai and it appears that the scouts of the franchises have seen something that they feel makes the player a mega pick.
Gujarat won her after a fierce bidding war with U.P Warriorz, who are one of the franchises with deep pockets in this Auction.
The auction started with Delhi Capitals breaking the bank for Australian allrounder Annabel Sutherland, claiming the player for Rs 2 crore.
Delhi jumped into the fray for the 22-year-old right-hand batter and medium-pacer from Australia with a base price of Rs 40 lakh, with Mumbai Indians taking them on straight away. Sutherland had played for Gujarat Giants in IPL 2023.
The two giants went at it with gusto as they hiked their bids by Rs 5 lakh continuously before they breached the one-crore mark and went past 1.5 crore. With Delhi Capitals lifting the paddle for a Rs 2.0 crore bid, Mumbai Indians owner Nita Abmabi pulled out of the bidding and the player went to Delhi Capitals.
Delhi Capitals Head coach Jonathan Batty said they have come to the Auction with a certain strategy in mind and Annabel Sutherland fits the bill for them.
He said they already have a balanced squad and will go for players who can make it to the playing XI. "Annabel is a multi-skill player and can bat any position from No.3 to 7 and can bowl in any phase of the game," said Batty
The 1 crore mark was breached in the opening set of players with Phoebe Litchfield going for Rs 1 crore to Gujarat Giants. The player came up with a base price of Rs 30 lakh and Gujarat were engaged in a bidding battle with UP Warriorz before getting their player for Rs 1 crore.
Gujarat Giants mentor Mithali Raj said they were looking for a left-handed batter who can bat in the middle-order and Phoebe fits those parameters. "She bats in the middle-order for Australia. We wanted a leftie who could bat in the middle-order. We have another leftie in the middle-order so this brings a good balance," said MIthali.
In the second session, the focus was on Vrinda Dinesh, the young allrounder from Karnataka who was picked by UP Warriorz for Rs 1.30 crore.
The 22-year-old is a right-handed batter and a right-arm leg-break bowler and is currently part of the Karnataka Women's Cricket Team and has played for India A Women's Cricket Team against England recently.
Vrinda is known as a consistent batter who has done well in the local leagues in Karnataka and UP Warriorz went for her outbidding Gujarat, Mumbai Indians and Delhi.
Among the other top buys, Indian player Ekta
Bisht went to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 60 lakh, who also bagged Georgia Wareham (AUS) for Rs 40 lakh.
Seasoned India batter Veda Krishnamurthy went unsold in the first session was but brought back under the hammer later and was picked by Gujarat Giants for Rs 30 lakh, her base price.
In all, Gujarat Giants bought 10 players, Royal Challengers Bangalore picked seven; UP Warriorz recruited five, Mumbai Indians picked five players and Delhi Capitals took three.
Among the players that went unsold included Sri Lanka's Chamari Athapaththu, Naomi Stalenberg of Australia, Deandra Dottin of the West Indies and Maia Bouchier of England.
Athapaththu was the player of the tournament of the recent season of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) WBBL in Australia.