At the Women’s Premier League (WPL-2) mini-auction in Mumbai, the uncapped Indian pair of Kashvee Gautam and Vrinda Dinesh hit the jackpot when they were snapped up for a £200,000 by the Gujarat Giants and £130,000 by the UP Warriorz respectively.
The only other player apart from Kashvee who attracted a bid of £200,000 was Australia’s Ireland-born pacer Annabel Sutherland, who was bought by the Delhi Capitals. For someone who went unsold in the last auction, it is indeed a surprise that Gautam’s bid was even higher than what the Mumbai Indians paid for Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur - £180,000 - at the inaugural auction.
Trooping in with the biggest purse after offloading more than half of their squad, the Gujarat Giants went flat out to secure the 20-year-old seam-bowling all rounder Kashvee, who plays for Chandigarh in domestic cricket.
At the senior women’s T20 trophy last month, Kashvee picked up 12 wickets in seven games at an economy rate of 4.14. She played for India ‘A’ in the recently-concluded home series against England ‘A’. In June, she was part of India’s victorious Under-23 squad at the ACC Emerging tournament in Hong Kong.
The 22-year-old Vrinda, who went for 13 times her base price, has scored runs for Karnataka consistently over the past two seasons. Like Kashvee, she was a part of the India ‘A’ squad that played three home games against England ‘A’. Earlier this year, she played a key role in Karnataka’s run to the final of the Senior Women’s one-dayers, notching up 477 runs in 11 innings at 47.70 , including 81 in the semifinal against Rajasthan.
WPL-2 to be held in one state: Jay Shah
Amid buzz that the WPL could be held across two venues - Mumbai and Bengaluru - in February next year, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said, “We will start the tournament most probably in the second or third week of February. As far as the venue is concerned, it will be held in one state only so that it is better logistically.” At the WPL-2 auction, former India captain and Gujarat Giants mentor Mithali Raj said that she believed that it would be a boost for women’s cricket if the tournament is held across multiple venues. Shah, however, said, “Logistics are very important for us this time. Next time we can figure it out. We can do it either in Bangalore or Uttar Pradesh also. We have so many venues, even in Gujarat, where we have Ahmedabad. Rajkot and after a few years Baroda can build their own stadium. Basically it is a joint call between the franchises and the BCCI,” Shah said.