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Top Ind-W U19 players WPL franchises would target: Sehrawat, Chopra, Kashyap, Devi stake big claims

WPL 2023: Top five India Women U-19 players that franchises can target in upcoming WPL Auction. Franchise can target Shweta Sherawat, Prashavi Chopra, Shafali Verma, Mannat Kashyap and Archana Devi.

ICC Women U-19 T20 World Cup 2023: Parshavi Chopra took 11 wickets at an average of 7.00 in T20 World Cup | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©CricTelegraph_Twitter)
Parshavi Chopra took 11 wickets at an average of 7.00 in T20 WC (Images: ©CricTelegraph/Twitter)

India have finally won their first ICC World Cup trophy in women’s cricket after a long wait of 45 years from the time they first participated in a world cup. After Shafali Verma and their team defeated England in Potchefstroom on Sunday by seven wickets, the U-19 unit became a part of golden history in women’s cricket.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has started the preparation for the inaugural season of Women's Premier League (WPL) that is likely to be held in March this year. Last week, BCCI announced the results of an auction, naming the owners of the five participating teams for a record INR 4669.99 crores. The five teams that are part of WPL are Ahmedabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bengaluru.

The auction of players is due to be held in February; in the meantime, the Indian players had been asked to register themselves for the auction directly to their respective State Associations and not via agents or managers. The base price for the capped Indian players is set at INR 30 lakh, INR 40 lakh and INR 50 lakh, and for uncapped players, it is INR 10 lakh and INR 20 lakh. It is upto the players to set their base price. It would be interesting to see how the teams would select their players.

Apart from the big names in India's senior team, a few young talents from the ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup team would be under the radar of the franchises, and they could fetch a handsome sum there. Here is a look at five players whom every team would like to have in their team.

Shweta Sehrawat (297 runs, Average 99.0)

India Women U-19 opening batter Shweta Sehrawat ended the tournament as the highest run-scorer with 297 runs, and with her outstanding performance, she managed to mark her footprints in women’s cricket.

During the U-19 T20 World Cup, she carried India’s batting lineup on her shoulders. Sehrawat was the leading run-scorer in the U-19 T20 World Cup. Playing in all seven matches for India Women U-19, she scored 297 runs at a strike rate of close to 140.

In her debut match against South Africa, Sehrawat played an impressive knock of 92* off 57. She batted fearlessly and scored 20 fours in that innings with a strike rate of 161.4 throughout the inning. She continued to wreak havoc on bowlers in subsequent group matches as she smashed 74* against UAE and 31* against Scotland.

Sehrawat lost her wicket for the first time in the tournament against Australia in the Super Six stage. She scored 21 runs in 29 balls with a strike rate of 72.41, which was her lowest strike rate in this tournament. Her knock in the semi-final against New Zealand is another profound example of her breathtaking performance and showed that she can lead the team to victories single-handedly. She smashed 61*in 45 balls and had a strike rate of above 135. Out of 61 runs, she scored 40 runs with the help of boundaries.

There is no doubt that Sehrawat will be the hot favourite for all the teams during the auction of players.

Parshavi Chopra (11 wickets, Average 7.0)

Parshavi Chopra was the leading wicket-taker for India in the ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup with 11 scalps. She ended second only to Australia’s Maggie Clark who took 12 wickets in the U-19 World Cup. Parshavi’s performance during the whole tournament was at a top-notch level, and always picked up wickets when India most needed her.

The 16-year-old leg spinner scalped 11 wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of just 3.66. Her best bowling figures during the tournament was 4/5 in four overs against Sri Lanka in the Super Six stage. In the final as well, she bowled superbly as she took two wickets in four overs and gave away just 13 runs. In the tournament, she was twice named ‘Player of the Match’, one against Sri Lanka, and second time against New Zealand in the semi-final.

Chopra who contributed most with the ball in guarding the India U-19 team towards lifting the cup, has the potential to become one of the best leg-spinners in women’s cricket history.

Mannat Kashyap (10 wickets, Average 9.33)

Mannat Kashyap took a total of nine wickets in six matches in the U-19 T20 World Cup. The left-arm orthodox spinner claimed a four-wicket haul against Scotland during the group stage game.

The 19-year-old claimed one wicket in the final of ICC U-19 Women’s 20 World Cup against England. She played an instrumental role in India’s victory by dismissing Alexa Stonehouse who was establishing a fighting 17-run partnership with Sophia Smale for the eighth wicket.

Her performance in the domestic U-19 circuit for Punjab women’s cricket team was much at par before she wore the blue jersey for India U-19 Women’s team.

Archana Devi (8 wickets, Average 13.12)

Archana Devi claimed eights wicket in the U-19 T20 World Cup. Her best figures were 3/14 in four overs with an economy rate of 3.50 against Scotland. She kept the momentum of her low economy rate during the match against Australia where she took a wicket in two overs with an economy rate of 3.50; even though India lost that match, her bowling was at par.

In the final, her dismissals of England U-19 captain Grace Scrivens who also ended as the player of the tournament, and then top-order batter Niamh Holland was one of the pivotal moments in the final of the Women's U-19 T20 World Cup. Then her stunning one-handed catch on Parshavi Chopra’s bowling to dismiss Ryana MacDonald-Gay was the icing on the cake.

She showcased her abilities not just in bowling but also in fielding, which is much needed for any team to win. It is a surety that all the teams in WIPL would like to have an all-rounder like her in the mix.

Women’s T20 Challenge 2022_ Shafali Verma's 51 helps Velocity beat Supernovas by 7 wicket _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Shafali Verma represented Velocity in Women's T20 Challenge (Images: ©BCCI/IPL)

Shafali Verma (172 runs, Average 24.57)

The new “Haryana Hurricane”, Shafali Verma has been sensational since the day she made her debut in international cricket. Now, after leading the U-19 team to a stunning win in the inaugural edition of the ICC Women’s U-19 T20 World Cup, she has engraved her name in the history of women's cricket.

Shafali who celebrated her 19th birthday on the eve of the final, ended the event at the third spot in the list of highest run-getters in the tournament. She scored a total of 172 runs in seven matches in the ICC T20 Women’s U-19 World Cup. She registered impressive personal scores of 45 and 78 against South Africa and UAE, respectively, however, she could not do much in the other four innings. Shafali is already in the thick of her senior international career, where she has played 51 T20I matches so far.

In 2019, the 15-year-old Verma became the youngest cricketer to represent India in women’s T20 international matches. In June 2021, she became the youngest player to wear an India cap in all three formats of international cricket.

Her ability to smack the ball around the ground, her attacking batting style to dominate bowlers, and to score runs quickly during the powerplay phase make her a generational talent. On October 8, 2022, Shafali became the youngest cricketer to complete 1000 runs in T20 internationals. With a strike rate of 134.53, she has the finest strike rate around the world for batters with at least 1000 runs in their kitty; this fact alone makes her the most treacherous opener in the world.

She will definitely figure amongst the favourites for all WPL teams in the auction.

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Apart from Shafali Verma, all others here on the list are uncapped players, and the time is not far from when we will see them playing for India Women's team. The franchises who would buy them will definitely be investing in future stars. They won’t only get good players but will definitely get benefit from their experience of playing and winning the ICC Women's U-19 T20 World Cup.


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