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WPL 2023: Tanuja Kanwar bags top bid amongst uncapped players in auction dominated by all-rounders

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

WPL Auction 2023: Tanuja Kanwar bags top bid (INR 50 Lakhs) amongst uncapped players in auction dominated by all-rounders. Top five uncapped buys by franchise in WPL Auction.

WPL Auction 2023: Tanuja Kanwar bags top bid (INR 50 Lakhs) amongst uncapped players in auction | Walking Wicket (Images: ©SDCA/facebook)
Tanuja bags top bid (INR 50 Lakhs) amongst uncapped players (Images: ©SDCA/facebook)

The inaugural player auction for the first Women’s Premier League (WPL) season was held in Mumbai on February 13. A total of 87 players were bought by the five franchises for a sum total of INR 59.50 crore, just 50 lakhs shy of the entire budget of 60 crore distributed amongst the franchises.

A total of three players fetched bids in excess of INR 3 crore – Smriti Mandhana (INR 3.4 crore), Ashleigh Gardner (INR 3.2 crore) and Natalie Sciver-Brunt (INR 3.2 crore) - and seven players were able to cross the INR 2 crore mark. It was an eventful day when international marquee players, experienced players and young and exciting sensations made waves on expected lines. There were quite a handful of surprise unsold players like Alana King, Suzie Bates, Laura Wolvaardt, Suun Luus, Katherine Brunt, Danielle Wyatt, Priya Punia, Chamari Athapaththu, Simran Bahadur, Lea Tahuhu and Tammy Beaumont to name a few, who were unable to garner bids against their names from the franchises.

Staggering INR 28.70 crore spent on all-rounders; Tanuja Kanwar most expensive uncapped player

A total of INR 54.25 crore was spent at this WPL auction for 57 capped players whereas INR 5.25 crore went to the 30 uncapped players.

The franchises spent a total of INR 11.55 crore on 14 batters, while a total of INR 11.75 crore was spent on acquiring 24 bowlers. A total of 39 all-rounders accounted for a whopping amount of INR 28.70 crore while 10 wicketkeeper-batters accounted for INR 7.50 crore.

Out of the 30 uncapped players, a total of 13 are all-rounders, six are batters, seven are bowlers and four are wicketkeeper-batters.

Only one uncapped overseas player earned a bid, Laura Harris of Australia who was sold to Delhi Capitals for INR 45 lakh. Tanuja Kanwar was the most expensive uncapped player at this auction who went to Gujarat Giants for INR 50 lakh.

Let’s take a look at five uncapped Indian players who were virtually unheard of until recently, but have been able to attract bidders at 3 to 5 times their actual base price based on the potential they possess, and can be great assets to their respective teams. It will be the uncapped players who have the biggest reasons to celebrate and with great international players, coaches and management staff around them, it will be a huge learning curve for the youngsters.

Tanuja Kanwar (Gujarat Giants)

The 25-year-old all-rounder Tanuja Kanwar went for a massive bid of INR 50 lakh, courtesy Gujarat Giants. Kanwar’s base price was just INR 10 lakh. It was Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who started the bidding war for Kanwar. Ultimately, the Giants being the last bidder acquired her services in the upcoming WPL.

As regards Kanwar’s selection, Nooshin Al Khadeer factor comes handy as the youngster plays for Railways Women who are coached by Khadeer. Tanuja hails from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, and is a left-handed batter, with the ability to pick up scalps through her effective left-arm medium pace bowling. The youngster will be amidst the likes of Ashleigh Gardner and veteran Deandra Dottin, fellow all-rounders, to learn from at the Giants camp.

Ashwani Kumari (Gujarat Giants)

Ashwani Kumari was a late pick for Gujarat Giants at the accelerated auction and the all-rounder was sold for INR 35 lakh. It was RCB who started the bid for Ashwani Kumari but it was Gujarat Giants who sealed the deal for her.

The Jharkhand player is mainly known for her batting exploits but can offer some medium pace bowling with variations as well. Ashwani will also benefit sharing the Giants camp with the likes of Ashleigh Gardener and Deandra Dottin; the youngster will step up to take valuable insights from them.

Minnu Mani (Delhi Capitals)

The 23-year-old player was bought by Delhi capitals for INR 30 lakh after a brief bidding war with Royal Challengers Bangalore. Minnu had a base price of INR 10 lakh. She is a right-arm off-break bowler and a left-handed batter who will learn and shine in the Capitals camp.

Mani belongs to a humble tribal background from Kerala and is the lone representative of Kerala in WPL. Minnu will be part of a star-studded Delhi squad which consists of Australia skipper Meg Lanning, India U-19 World Cup-winning captain Shafali Verma, lndia batter Jemimah Rodrigues and the celebrated South Africa all-rounder Marizanne Kapp.

Priyanka Bala (Mumbai Indians)

Priyanka Bala didn’t trouble the bidding process much as she was picked up at her base price of INR 20 lakh by Mumbai Indians. The right-handed wicketkeeper batter from West Bengal will be a part of Mumbai Indians squad along with India skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, India all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar and England all-rounder Natalie Sciver-Brunt.

Kanika Ahuja (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Kanika Ahuja attracted a bid from RCB at 3.5 times her base price. Mumbai opened the bid for her and RCB went all the way to acquire her at INR 35 lakh.

Kanika Ahuja hails from Punjab and is a right-hand batter and left-arm off break spinner. While it will be tough for Ahuja to get a game ahead of Ellyse Perry, Sophie Devine and Heather Knight being her teammates, it will surely be a huge learning opportunity for the youngster with these veterans and number 3-ranked T20I batter of the world, Smriti Mandhana by her side.

The inaugural edition of Women’s Premier League will be played from March 4 to 26, 2023 in Mumbai at the Brabourne Stadium and DY Patil Stadium.


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