WPL 2024 Auction: A Look At Team Requirements And Expected Tactics
Gujarat Giants have the biggest purse available with Rs 5.95 crore but also have 10 slots to fill.
- Posted by Abhishek Paul
- Updated: December 05, 2023 05:17 PM IST
The anticipation for the Women's Premier League (WPL) 2024 auction is gaining momentum with 165 players set to go under the hammer in Mumbai on Saturday, December 9. Within this pool, 104 players are Indians while 61 hail from other countries.
Yet, the challenge for the five WPL franchises - Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and UP Warriorz - lies in filling a mere total of 30 slots across their teams. Each team can have a maximum of 18 players in their squad. This means the teams will have to be at their best to create a winning formula necessary for the upcoming season and steer clear of any tactical blunders.
With the teams gearing up to bid for top talents, we take a look at what each team might require to reshape the dynamics of the squad and establish an early tone for success in the second season of WPL in February-March next year.
Led by India's national captain Harmanpreet Kaur, Mumbai Indians had their big guns firing in the inaugural edition which helped them win the title.
Batter Nat Sciver-Brunt and bowlers Hayley Matthews, Issy Wong were among the top performers in the first season. Amelia Kerr, Pooja Vastrakar and Yastika Bhatia are other big names in the side.
The champions released youngsters Dhara Gujjar and Sonam Yadav ahead of the auctions and might look for a couple of home-grown all-rounders with Rs 2.1 crore left in the purse. They can buy a maximum of five players, one overseas included.
The Giants released 10 players from their WPL 2023 squad and will be looking for a complete makeover. The team finished at the bottom of the WPL 2023 points table after just two wins from eight matches but does have enough cash in the purse to script a turnaround for the 2024 season. Gujarat Giants have Rs 5.95 crore available at their disposal.
Of the 10 slots available, Gujarat Giants also have three slots open for foreign players. This means they can invest in some of the star players like West Indian Deandra Dottin, English wicketkeeper Amy Jones or veteran South African pacer Shabnim Ismail.
Conversely, the Giants might adopt a more balanced approach with just eight players currently in their squad. They could spread their bids across different player categories to create a well-rounded team and take the squad strength to at least 15 players.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Led by India's batting stalwart Smriti Mandhana, RCB entered the WPL 2023 season as front-runners but could not make it to the final. The team has seven slots to fill with an available purse of Rs 3.35 crore. A maximum of three foreign players could be purchased.
Australia's Ellyse Perry, England's Heather Knight and New Zealand's Sophie Devine are the high-impact players retained by the RCB but Mandhana's team will be searching for an additional quality bowling option in their line-up. The team will also need an experienced Indian in the squad which also includes the likes of teenager Richa Ghosh.
With Jemimah Rodrigues, Meg Lanning, Shafali Verma, Shikha Pandey and Taniyaa Bhatia in the side, DC management did a clinical job of setting up the core of the team in the first season itself. Though they lost the final to Mumbai Indians, DC topped the table in the inaugural edition and released just three players ahead of the 2024 auction.
DC let go of American cricketer Tara Norris and might want to grab a left-arm medium-pace bowler as her replacement and a couple of Indian players within the collective budget of Rs 2.25 crore.
The team looks dependent on heavyweights Alyssa Healy, Sophie Ecclestone, Tahlia Mcgrath and Deepti Sharma. The team's think-tank might want to bag a quality seam bowler, especially after letting go of South African speedster Shabnim Ismail.
UP Warriorz currently have 13 players in the squad and have Rs 4 crore to fill the remaining five positions. The team should focus on acquiring quality Indian players in their line-up as they let go of Devika Vaidya, who misfired in the first season after being bought for Rs 1.4 crore.