We witnessed how many Women’s cricketers garnered significant sums from teams during the recently concluded Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction as a result of their spotless records and dazzling numbers. A few celebrities who made news after becoming some of the most expensive purchases at the event were Smriti Mandhana, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Ashleigh Gardner, Deepti Sharma, and Shafali Verma. Their input will be essential in determining the success of their respective franchises in the forthcoming competition.
In the historic first Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction on February 13, INR 59.50 crore was spent on 87 players, 30 of whom are international stars. The performances of the international players will undoubtedly play a significant role in determining the fate of the teams come March. Only 87 of the 449 players featured in the WPL 2023 auction could secure contracts. Some well-known performers from the global stage went unsold from the auction’s focus from either of the franchises.
The first season of Women’s Premier League is set to begin on 4th March, and the finals of the tournament will be played on 26th March. Before the tournament proceeds, let’s have a look at the best teams in the grand Indian tournament.
Ranking all the teams from the Women’s Premier League
Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB bought a total of 18 players for a sum of 11.9 crores. RCB enjoys constructing its brand around famous players. Imagine the men’s team as having Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, and Virat Kohli. Similar to the Women’s Premier League(WPL), they have set up a formidable trio consisting of Smriti Mandhana, Ellyse Perry, a four-time winner of the T20 World Cup, and Dane van Niekerk of South Africa.
Apart from some of the renowned Indian superstars, RCB has managed to gather a talented bunch of international all-rounders. The team’s coach and management have the difficult task of deciding which cricketers to leave out of their far-reaching and talented squad, featuring renowned players such as Perry, Sophie Devine, van Niekerk, and Heather Knight, who all possess both batting and bowling capabilities.
Mandhana, Richa Ghosh, and Renuka Singh add even more firepower to the already impressive overseas contingent of top-class cricketers. This set of players automatically makes RCB one of the top favorites to win the Indian T20 League. However, the lack of a quality Indian wrist-spinner on the bouncy Mumbai pitches might be a drawback.
Captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore for WPL: Smriti Mandhana
RCB’s complete squad for 2023:
Smriti Mandhana (INR 3.4 crore), Sophie Devine (INR 50 lakh), Ellyse Perry (INR 1.7 crore), Renuka Singh (INR 1.5 crore), Richa Ghosh (INR 1.9 crore), Erin Burns (INR 30 lakh), Disha Kasat (INR 10 lakh), Indrani Roy (INR 10 lakh), Shreyanka Patil (INR 10 lakh), Kanika Ahuja (35 lacks), Asha Shobana (INR 10 lakh), Heather Knight (INR 40 lakh), Dane van Niekerk (INR 30 lakh), Preeti Bose (INR 30 lakh), Poonam Khemnar (INR 10 lakh), Komal Zanzad (INR 25 lakh), Megan Schutt (INR 40 lakh), Sahana Pawar (INR 10 lakh).
Overall Rating: (4.3/5)
MI purchased a total of 18 players for a sum of 12 crores. A chance to play for the MI-based franchise will be especially poignant for Harmanpreet Kaur, who made her debut on the Mumbai pitches in 2013 with a memorable century in the Women’s World Cup. This return to the city will mark the start of an exciting new phase of Indian women’s cricket, during which Harmanpreet could potentially lead the Mumbai Indians. Harmanpreet Kaur, Nat Sciver-Brunt, and Pooja Vastrakar are sure to appear at the top of the team’s lineup. Both Sciver-Brunt and Vastrakar are essential cogs because of their mobility in the field against speed and spin, as well as their superb medium pace and ability to bowl a heavy ball in the middle overs.
Mumbai Indians have gone the extra mile in gathering a large selection of reserve players thanks to their dedicated scouting system. Additionally, they have also developed a robust pool of India Under-19 players and will use this time to help them grow and develop over the years. Mumbai Indians are known for creating superstars like the franchise previously did with Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. With Yastika Bhatia as the sole wicketkeeper, Mumbai Indians lack backup options in that area. They could also use more Indian seam bowlers, as Vastrakar is their only option in this regard.
Captain of Mumbai Indians for WPL: Harmanpreet Kaur
MI’s complete squad for 2023:
Harmanpreet Kaur (INR 1.8 crore), Nat Sciver (INR 3.2 crore), Amelia Kerr (INR 1 crore), Pooja Vastrakar (INR 1.9 crore), Yastika Bhatia (INR 1.5 crore), Heather Graham (INR 30 lakh), Isabelle Wong (INR 30 lakh), Amanjot Kaur (INR 50 lakh), Dhara Gujar (INR 10 lakh), Saika Ishaque (INR 10 lakh), Hayley Matthews (INR 40 lakh), Chloe Tryon (INR 30 lakh), Humairaa Khazi (INR 10 lakh), Priyanka Bala (INR 20 lakh), Sonam Yadav (INR 10 lakh), Jintimani Kalita (INR 10 lakh), Neelam Bisht (INR 10 lakh).
Overall Rating: (4/5)
Delhi Capitals bought a total of 18 players for a sum of 11.65 crores. Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, and Marizanne Kapp’s performance and expertise will be important for the Capitals in their first competitive venture. The Capitals’ top order is composed of Shafali, Rodrigues, and Lanning. Australia’s World Cup-winning captain Meg Lanning makes the team look invincible on paper.
Delhi Capitals have a strong bowling troupe consisting of Poonam Yadav, Jess Jonassen, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, and Marizanne Kapp. With Taniya Bhatia and Aparna Mondal as wicketkeepers, however, the lower-middle order might be hindered due to their lack of striking ability.
Captain of Delhi Capitals for WPL: Not yet announced
DC’s complete squad for 2023:
Jemimah Rodrigues (INR 2.2 crore), Meg Lanning (INR 1.1 crore), Shafali Verma (INR 2 crore), Radha Yadav (INR 40 lakh), Shikha Pandey (INR 60 lakh), Marizanne Kapp (INR 1.5 crore), Titas Sadhu (INR 25 lakh), Alice Capsey (INR 75 lakh), Tara Norris (INR 10 lakh), Laura Harris (INR 45 lakh), Jasia Akhter (INR 20 lakh), Minnu Mani (INR 30 lakh), Jess Jonassen (INR 50 lakh), Taniyaa Bhatia (INR 30 lakh), Poonam Yadav (INR 30 lakh), Sneha Deepthi (INR 30 lakh), Arundhati Reddy (INR 30 lakh), Aparna Mondal (INR 10 lakh).
Overall Rating: (4/5)
GG amassed a total of 18 players for a sum of 11.5 crores. Gujarat Giants made Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner one of the most expensive overseas purchases in the auction at INR 3.2 crore (USD 390,000 approx). Ashleigh Gardner recently achieved her best-ever bowling figures in T20Is. Gardner mentioned that the conditions at DY Patil Stadium and the Brabourne Stadium are perfect for good strokeplay, which will benefit her as a hitter and also help the ball grip and turn. Her performance with both bat and ball is expected to make a significant impact.
With her abundance of experience in the domestic circuit, Sneh Rana could be a huge asset for Mumbai Indians during the Women’s Premier League. Additionally, she will be reuniting with Nooshin Al Khadeer, her former Railways coach, who has had a major impact on Rana’s return to the national side. Her flight and dip with the ball could be strategic tools for the two venues hosting all 22 games.
Gujarat Giants have some of the most specialized overseas options available to them, in addition to reliable all-rounders Deandra Dottin and Annabel Sutherland, who both specialize in seam bowling. Gujarat Giants are lacking a bit in the local Indian experience department, with Harleen Deol, S Meghana, and D Hemalatha being their only Indian batters who can be trusted in critical moments or if any unexpected injuries arise.
Captain of Gujarat Giants for WPL: Not yet announced
GG’s complete squad for 2023:
Ashleigh Gardner (Rs 3.2 crore), Beth Mooney (Rs 2.2 crore), Sophia Dunkley (INR 60 lakh), Annabel Sutherland (INR 70 lakh), Harleen Deol (INR 40 lakh), Deandra Dottin (INR 60 lakh), Sneh Rana (INR 75 lakh), Sabbineni Meghana (INR 30 lakh), Georgia Wareham (INR 75 lakh), Mansi Joshi (INR 30 lakh), Dayalan Hemalatha (INR 30 lakh), Monica Patel (INR 30 lakh), Tanuja Kanwer (INR 50 lakh), Sushma Verma (INR 60 lakh), Hurley Gala (INR 10 lakh), Parunika Sisodia (INR 10 lakh), Shabnam Shakeel (INR 10 lakh), Ashwani Kumari (INR 35 lakh).
Overall Rating: (3.5/5)
UP Warriorz (3.4/5)
UP Warriorz bought a total of 18 players for a sum of 11.5 crores. UP Warriorz has an extremely well-rounded squad. Along with Deepti, Devika Vaidya, Parshavi Chopra, Grace Harris, and Tahlia McGrath, who can all provide an impact with both the bat and ball, the team has the potential to shift momentum and take the game in their favor.
Deepti Sharma is a key player in the line-up, especially in spin-friendly pitch conditions in Mumbai. Sharma was India’s second-most expensive player in the WPL 2023 auction with an INR 2.6 crore price tag, behind Smriti Mandhana. Sharma’s ability to produce results with both batting and bowling makes her a vital part of the team. Alyssa Healy is an essential part of the Warriorz top lineup and team, offering plenty of international experience. She has a remarkable ability to turn the tides in her team’s favor, with an impressive batting average of 128.26 in T20Is.
Warriorz has an excellent core spin trio with Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Sophie Ecclestone, and Deepti at the helm. With Shabnim Ismail and Anjali Sarvani providing quality support in the pace department, Healy, the Under-19 India opener Shweta Sehrawat, and McGrath form a solid top order. Having said that, Kiran Navgire and the lesser-known Laxmi Yadav are the only dedicated batters in the middle order; Warriorz needs players who can take on an anchor role if a few quick wickets fall early in innings.
Captain of UP Warriorz for WPL: Alyssa Healy
UP Warriorz complete squad for 2023:
Sophie Ecclestone (INR 1.8 crore), Deepti Sharma (INR 2.6 crore), Tahlia McGrath (INR 1.4 crore), Shabnim Ismail (INR 1 crore), Alyssa Healy (INR 70 lakh), Anjali Sarvani (INR 55 lakh), Rajeshwari Gayakwad (INR 40 lakh), Parshavi Chopra (INR 10 lakh), Shweta Sehrawat (INR 40 lakh), S Yashasri (INR 10 lakh), Kiran Navgire (INR 30 lakh), Grace Harris (INR 75 lakh), Devika Vaidya (INR 1.4 crore), Lauren Bell (INR 30 lakh), Laxmi Yadav (INR 10 lakh), Simran Shaikh (INR 10 lakh).
Overall Rating: (3.4/5)