The inaugural edition of WPL will be played in Mumbai from March 4 to 26 across two Mumbai venues and the player auction for the same will be held on February 13. A total of 409 players will go under the hammer during the auction of the inaugural edition of the Women's Premier League (WPL), which will be taking place on Monday. Out of 409 players, 246 are Indians and 163 are overseas players of which 8 players are from associate nations. The total number of capped players are 202, uncapped players are 199 and 8 are from associate nations. A maximum of 90 slots are available with the five teams, with 30 being slotted for overseas players.
As the countdown for the auction begins we take a look at the top 5 stars who can start a bidding war during the Women's Premier League auction.
1) Smriti Mandhana
One of the finest women's cricket players who can make any stadium come alive is Smriti Madhana. She is a sight to behold, and her explosive batting has class written all over it. Mandhana never tries to overhit the ball; instead, she just extends her body forward and caresses the ball while maintaining her shot.
The southpaw makes strong, beautiful strokes while remaining brave. Mandhana is one of the top batters in the world because of her skill playing both pace bowlers and spinners. Mandhana has played in 100 T20Is and accumulated 2,474 runs. She has also amassed an outstanding 784 runs in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL).
Additionally, teams will be considering her as a prospective captain for their group (she is the vice-captain of India in all formats). She will therefore be highly sought-after in the next Women's Premier League auction for both her batting prowess and her leadership abilities.
2) Alyssa Healey
Alyssa Healy is thought to be in the same category as players like Adam Gilchrist who can mercilessly destroy their opponents. Not in the manner of the strokes, but in her desire, she pounces on the ball much as Ricky Ponting would.
Healey actually does crunch her drives, and while it's one thing to feed enormous aerial hits with force, she also manages to pack more punch into her regular ground shots than others.
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She holds the distinction of being widely recognised as one of the finest women's cricket players to ever grace this sport thanks to her brilliance in all areas across three formats. Teams in the Women's Premier League will undoubtedly want to add Alyssa Healy to their lineup as a threatening hitter.
3) Deepti Sharma
She holds the distinction of being widely recognised as one of the finest women's cricket players to ever grace this sport thanks to her brilliance in all areas across three formats. Deepti has currently claimed the second position in the all-rounders category of ICC WT20I player rankings having 406 rating points under her helm. Deepti is primarily an off-break bowler, and her arm and carrom balls are challenging for the opposition to read.
In 84 matches for India, she has bagged 92 wickets with an economy of 6.14. In the past year, she has emerged as a revelation, batting at number six and taking on the role of her team's finisher. Teams in the Women's Premier League will be vying for the services of the outstanding all-around player.
4) Sophie Ecclestone
One of the top T20 prospects in women's cricket right now is left-arm spin-bowling all-rounder Sophie Ecclestone of England. She challenges almost every batter with her pinpoint accurate lengths and flawless lines, and her potential is shown by an economy of under 6.
She has scalped 86 wickets In 65 appearances for England with a stunning bowling SR of 16.48. This demonstrates that she consistently gives her team the necessary breakthrough.
The prolific all-rounder will undoubtedly get the attention of Women's Premier League teams, and the 23-year-old will show to be a wise long-term investment for the teams.
5) Harmanpreet Kaur
Harmanpreet Kaur is perhaps the most dangerous batter in women's cricket thanks to her natural bat motion and power. Opponents can only anticipate mayhem when she is at her best. When the current India skipper is set, she will scoop, hurl it to the leg, and slog sweep the pacers and nothing will stop her.
Who can forget the iconic unbeaten 171 she scored against the dominant Australians at the 2017 ICC Women's Cricket World Cup, plundering the Australian bowlers to every corner of the ground. Although it was only an ODI game, her violent striking was evident to everyone.
Team India captain's strong off breaks and outstanding fielding skills make her a multifaceted asset on the field. She will be on every team's priority list, thus Women's Premier League teams will undoubtedly have to battle it out in the bidding war at the auction table.
The five franchises were acquired by the owners of the three IPL teams--Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Delhi Capitals--along with Adani Group and Capri Global for a total of INR 4669.99 crore (about USD 572.78 million).
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