Who was the Most Expensive Player in the Women’s Premier League?

In the lead-up to the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), during the player’s auction, Smriti Mandhana scripted history by being the most expensive signing, and interestingly, it turns out to be a prediction of her dad that’s actually come true.

Smriti Mandhana roped in by Royal Challengers Bangalore. PC: Twitter
Smriti Mandhana roped in by Royal Challengers Bangalore. PC: Twitter


On the 13th of February, auction day, Smriti Mandhana was the first to go under the hammer, and a bilateral bidding war between the Mumbai Indians and the Royal Challengers Bangalore straightaway was underway. Mumbai Indians (MI) initiated the opening, INR 50 Lakhs bid, and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) followed.

Following quick bids, the first exchange of words took place in the RCB camp when Smriti Mandhana at INR 2.40 Crores (CR) was with MI, and RCB when picked their paddle for an INR 2.60 CR bid, MI exchanged words. While others enjoyed, the two continued to hustle, and Smriti Mandhana surged to an INR 3.40 CR bid before she was out of Mumbai and the reach of the rest to settle with the RCB for INR 3.40 CR.

Only England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt and Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner came close to what Smriti Mandhana had settled for, but eventually, the two fell a bit short. While Mumbai bagged Nat Sciver-Brunt for an INR 3.2 CR bid, Ashleigh Gardner too finished at the same price tag but with Gujarat Giants.

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Smriti Mandhana’s father, Shriniwas Mandhana, told the BBC, “Before leaving for South Africa, my son, Smriti and I had a casual chat at our home about the WPL auction. We predicted she would attract the highest bid.

“I am a proud dad, not just because I got the prediction right but also to see her reach where no woman has been before. That bid, her name – it’s historic.”

Smriti Mandhana is only 2nd (Indian) to Harmanpreet Kaur in the Women’s Twenty20 Internationals most runs scorers list and 7th overall with 2661 runs to her name off 109 innings at an average of 27.15, a strike rate of 123.19, and with as many as 20 fifties, has got the highest score of 86.

Royal Challengers Bangalore squad for Women’s Premier League:

Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine*, Ellyse Perry*, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Erin Burns*, Disha Kasat, Indrani Roy, Shreyanka Patil, Kanika Ahuja, Asha Shobana, Heather Knight*, Dane van Niekerk*, Preeti Bose, Poonam Khemnar, Komal Zanzad, Megan Schutt*, Sahana Pawar

* Overseas Players

The inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) is scheduled to be played from the 4th to the 26th of March, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore are scheduled to play their opener against Delhi Capitals on the 5th of March, at 3:30 PM IST at CCI – Brabourne stadium, in the first double-header of the tournament.

(Quote sourced from BBC)

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