Smriti Mandhana, a left-handed opener for India, outbid elite male cricketers like Ajinkya Rahane, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, England’s Adil Rashid, and Australia’s Adam Zampa for the winning offer of Rs. 3.4 crore.
A day arrived when women in the globe could pursue a successful profession in cricket just as men do. The T20 Women’s Premier League (WPL) player auction on Monday raised hopes for those on the outside and made professional women’s cricketers overnight millionaires.
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The biggest winning offer went to India’s left-handed opener Smriti Mandhana for Rs 3.4 crore, which is more than what IPL clubs spent for top men’s cricketers like Ajinkya Rahane, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, England’s Adil Rashid,and Australia’s Adam Zampa.
Mandhana later put the significance of the day in perspective. “Over the last 10 years, we have been watching auctions for men… It’s such a big movement for women’s cricket. I think this is history. I think the whole thing is exciting and I am saying it’s an exciting time ahead,” she said.
Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of India, sold for Rs 1.8 crore, while other international athletes such as Ashleigh Gardner of Australia, Ellyse Perry of Australia, Beth Mooney of Australia, Meg Lanning of England, and Natalie Sciver-Brunt of England were sold for significant sums.
The captain of India’s successful U-19 World Cup team, Shafali Verma, received Rs 2 crore, followed by Jemimah Rodrigues, Rs 2.2 crore, and Richa Ghosh, Rs 2.5 crore (Rs 1.9 crore). This served as a reward for some of them after the struggles they had to go through to get here.