Sydney Thunder wins the inaugural WBBL overseas draft lottery

Sydney Thunders have struck gold this year as they have got the opportunity to be the team to pick a player first in the WBBL overseas players draft. Thunders finished last in the previous edition of WBBL.

Sydney Thunder wins inaugural WBBL overseas draft lottery. PC: Getty Images
Sydney Thunder wins the inaugural WBBL overseas draft lottery. PC: Getty Images

The order for the drafts was determined by a two-tiered weighted lottery system. The lottery system was such that the teams who failed to make the finals in the previous edition were in contention for the top pick followed by the teams which played the finals.

Melbourne Renegades have got the rights for the 2nd pick followed by Perth Scorchers who will get the 3rd pick. Current Champions, Adelaide Strikers have got the last pick, meanwhile, the last year’s runners-up, Sydney Sixers have got the penultimate pick. Hobart Hurricanes and Brisbane Heat have got the 5th and 6th pick respectively.

This year’s draft will be held on 3rd September 2023 (Sunday). The draft will consist of 4 rounds with each team allowed to opt a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 players in total. The first two rounds will follow the order obtained from the lottery. The order in the last 2 rounds will be changed with the team having the last pick in the 2nd round will get to pick first in the 3rd round.

This is the first time a draft will be held in WBBL history. Earlier the teams used to directly sign players by contacting them. After the success of the draft system for overseas players in BBL, the organizers decided to introduce it in WBBL too.

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The growth of other leagues like the Hundred and WPL was also an instrumental factor for taking this decision as the salary of players had to be increased. Each team will have to sign a minimum of 5 marquee players, with marquee players will be defined as a player earning $50,000 or more in a season irrespective of her being a domestic or an overseas player.

When the decision about conducting the draft for overseas players was announced, BBL General Manager Alistair Dobson emphasized the importance of WPL in taking this decision, he said, “As we looked at those examples and assessed it against what we thought a draft could deliver in the WBBL, we quickly came to the conclusion that it was the right thing to do.”

He also added, (We looked at) the impact that the draft had in the BBL – not just from a player perspective, but also the opportunity to bring interest and profile to the players in the competition. That was certainly something we saw value in for the WBBL.”

Sydney Thunders will be hoping to get a few stars from the draft to avoid the disappointment of last year.

This draft is going to be fundamental in setting the right base for this year’s WBBL which is scheduled to begin from 19th October 2023, with the first game being played by Sydney Sixers and Melbourne Stars.

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