Ahead of the inaugural Women's Premier League (WPL) player auction set to be held on Monday in Mumbai, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has roped in a female auctioneer to conduct the proceedings.
A report in Cricbuzz says Mallika Sagar, a Mumbai-based art collector consultant for Modern and Contemporary Indian art and partner in Art India Consultants firm, will oversee the auction.
Incidentally, Mallika, an auctioneer at the Pundole's in Mumbai, had conducted the auctions of the 2021 Pro Kabaddi League. The report added that the BCCI has also informed the five teams that they have to bring in a minimum of 15 players in the squad while the minimum squad spend should be INR 9 crore.
They will be having a purse of INR 12 crore, with each side allowed to buy only six foreign players. "The franchisees are reminded of the WPL squad rules with respect to a minimum (15) and maximum (18) squad size, minimum squad spend (INR 9 crore) and the maximum number of overseas players in the squad (6)," the BCCI communication to the five teams was quoted as saying in the report.
In the WPL Player Auction, a total of 409 players will go under the hammer with 246 of them being Indian cricketers and 163 being overseas players, of which eight players are from the associate nations.
The players will be presented in sets based on their specialisation - marquee players, batters, allrounders, wicketkeepers, fast bowlers, spin bowlers and emerging players. Players are divided into five different slabs of base prices for the auction - INR 50 lakh, INR 40 lakh, INR 30 lakh, INR 20 lakh and INR 10 lakh.
India captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana, all-rounder Deepti Sharma, U19 Women's T20 World Cup winning captain Shafali Verma, Australia's premier all-rounder Ellyse Perry, England's left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, New Zealand captain Sophie Devine and former West Indies players Deandra Dottin are among the players with the highest base price.
The report also said that bids up to INR 1 crore will bring increments of INR 5 lakh, and bids from INR 1 crore to INR 2 crore will get increments of INR 10 lakh. Bids from INR 2 crore to INR 3 crore would fetch teams increments of INR 20 lakh and bids from INR 3 crore will bring increments at the auctioneer's discretion, but not less than INR 20 lakh.
The report further said the BCCI is also providing strategy breaks of ten minutes after every hour during the auction. "Following the conclusion of each set, there may (at the Auctioneer's discretion) be a short break to allow franchises time to re-evaluate tactics.
The length of each break will be announced by the Auctioneer at the conclusion of the relevant set." "A warning bell will ring two minutes before the resumption of the Player Auction after each break.
The Player Auction will restart promptly after each break. It is anticipated that these short breaks will total a minimum of 10 minutes in every hour of the Player Auction proceedings," the BCCI note was quoted as saying in the report.
The report concluded by saying the auction will take place in the Jasmine Hall, 1, JIO World Convention Centre, and it will start at 2.30 PM. A day before the auction, the BCCI will hold a pre-auction briefing for the franchises at 8 pm on Sunday.