The inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL) auction on Monday (February 13) will see a female auctioneer overseeing the proceedings as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has brought in Malika Advani, a Mumbai-based art collector consultant for Modern and Contemporary Indian art and partner in Art India Consultants firm as auctioneer.
The auction will be held at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai and Advani, who is an auctioneer at the Pundole’s in Mumbai, will conduct the proceedings joining the likes of Hugh Edmeades, Richard Madley, and Charu Sharma as the people to conduct IPL auctions.
She has prior experience in conducting sports league auctions as in 2021, she was the auctioneer for the Pro Kabaddi League - becoming the first woman to conduct the auctions in the league.
According to WPL 2023 Player Auction Rules, communicated to the five WPL franchises, the five franchises have also been informed that they need to have at least 15 players and the minimum squad spend should be INR 9 crore.
The value of the full purse is INR 12 crore and each side is allowed to buy only six foreign players.
"The franchisees are reminded of the WPL squad rules with respect to minimum (15) and maximum (18) squad size, minimum squad spend (INR 9 crore) and the maximum number of overseas players in the squad (6),” BCCI communication read.
A total of 409 players will go under the hammer with 246 of them being Indians and 163 overseas players, of which eight players are from the associate nations. The players in the auction register have five different slabs of base prices - INR 50 lakh, INR 40 lakh, INR 30 lakh, INR 20 lakh and INR 10 lakh, with 24 players choosing to be slotted in the top bracket.
Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Ellyse Perry, Sophie Ecclestone, Sophie Devine and Deandra Dottin are among the players with the highest base price.