For the first time in Indian cricket history, a woman auctioneer presided over the proceedings, with 87 players sold in the inaugural WPL auction.
The Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction concluded successfully on Monday in Mumbai, with the five franchises spending a total of INR 59.5 crore on 87 players. Smriti Mandhana of India earned the highest salary, joining Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 3.40 crore, while India captain Harmanpreet Kaur joined Mumbai Indians for Rs 1.80 crore. Aside from the players, auctioneer Mallika Sagar became a talking point for the precision with which she conducted the auction.
Even veteran Indian wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik praised Sagar for her handling of the auction on Twitter.
“Mallika Sagar is a fantastic auctioneer. Confident, clear, and poised. The WPL has made the correct decisions from the start. Congratulations, @BCCI “Karthik tweeted about it.
Mallika is a Mumbai-based art collector consultant specialising in Modern and Contemporary Indian art who is currently employed by Art India Consultants. Hugh Edmeades, Richard Madley, and Charu Sharma have previously conducted auctions for the Indian Premier League, but Advani is the first female auctioneer associated with a T20 league.
Mallika stated in an interview prior to the auction’s start: “I am honoured and proud to accept the invitation. Indian women will finally be given their due on the international stage, and they will be able to compete at the highest level.”