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Kashvee Gautam breaks bank at WPL auction

Updated on: 10 December,2023 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Subodh Mayure |

Uncapped Indian all-rounder Gautam goes to Gujarat Giants for record R2 crore, while Aussie Annabel Sutherland fetches similar price from Delhi Capitals at WPL auction

Kashvee Gautam breaks bank at WPL auction

Kashvee Gautam. Pic/Kashvee’s Instagram

Uncapped all-rounder Kashvee Gautam and Australia’s bowling all-rounder Annabel Sutherland emerged the most expensive players in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) Player Auction on Saturday.

Gautam, 20, and Sutherland, 22, were bought for R2 crore each by Gujarat Giants (GG) and Delhi Capitals (DC) respectively. 

Giants opened the bidding for Punjab cricketer Gautam with R15 lakh; base price Rs 10 lakh. 

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Annabel Sutherland. Pic/Getty ImagesAnnabel Sutherland. Pic/Getty Images

Then, Royal Challengers Bangalore fought for her before UP Warriorz too tried to get this young cricketer into their fold. But Gujarat Giants had the last laugh.   
Mumbai Indians (MI) showed interest in Sutherland (base price R40 lakh), but DC got Sutherland, who was released by Gujarat ahead of the auction. 

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Karnataka’s opening batter Vrinda Dinesh, 22, (base price Rs 10 lakh), who last week represented India ‘A’ against England ‘A’ in the T20I series, emerged the second most expensive Indian player, who went to UP for Rs 1.30 crore.

Ismail for Mumbai Indians

The auction proceedings began with the bidding for Australian batter Phoebe Litchfield (base price R30 lakh). Both UP and Gujarat Giants fought for her, but Gujarat won with Rs 1 crore bid. Defending champions MI spent R1.20 crore on South African pacer Shabnim Ismail, 35. They also got Mumbai girl Fatima Jaffer for her base price of Rs 10 lakh.

Mumbai Indians owners Nita Ambani and Akash Ambani during the WPL auction on Saturday. Pic/BCCIMumbai Indians owners Nita Ambani and Akash Ambani during the WPL auction on Saturday. Pic/BCCI

Surprisingly, there were no takers for Sri Lankan all-rounder Chamari Athapaththu (base price Rs 30 lakh), West Indies hard-hitter Deandra Dottin (Rs 50 lakh), Australia bowler Kim Garth (Rs 50 lakh) and England wicketkeeper Amy Jones (Rs 40 lakh).

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah reckoned that Indian uncapped players Gautam and Vrinda getting big purses, is a message for young girls who aspire to play this game on the big stage. “It is a huge message for all women cricket players that if we work hard on the ground, we will also get a similar price in the future. It is very encouraging for all young female players,” Shah said on the sidelines of the auction.

According to Shah, the second WPL edition could start in the second or third week of February. However, the venue was not announced. “As far as the venue is concerned, it will be held in one state. It is better logistically. We can do it either in Bangalore or Uttar Pradesh. We have so many venues, even in Gujarat, where we have Ahmedabad, Rajkot and after a few years, Baroda can build their own stadium.

WPL in one state: Jay Shah

“Basically, it is a joint call between the franchises and BCCI. We will sit together and decide. It will be in one state, that is for sure.” 

Meanwhile, Gujarat Giants mentor, Mithali Raj remarked that it would be a big boost for women’s cricket if WPL games are held at different venues. “In this way, we can also build our fan base as a new franchise. We can develop a fan base at home. It gives us an opportunity to show women’s cricket to a new audience,” the former India captain said amidst auction fever. 

Top 5 buys

Rs 2cr
Kashvee Gautam (Gujarat Giants)

Rs 2cr
Annabel Sutherland (Delhi Capitals)

Rs 1.30cr
Vrinda Dinesh (UP Warriorz)

Rs 1.20cr
Shabnim Ismail (Mumbai Indians)

Rs 1cr
Phoebe Litchfield (Delhi Capitals)

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