When is WPL auction 2023 and who are the UAE players that could be selected?

India’s new T20 league for women is said to be the second most lucrative in all of cricket after IPL

A few UAE women's players, including Esha Oza, will be looking to get picked up during the Women's Premier League auction this month. Asian Cricket Council / CREIMAS

Photo by Deepak Malik / CREIMAS for Asian Cricket Council 

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The Women’s Premier League will take place in Mumbai from March 4 to 24.

The new franchise competition will have five teams, representing Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Lucknow.

Described as the women’s version of the Indian Premier League, the amount of cash involved in the competition has never before been seen in the female game.

Who are the teams?

Three of the five teams are IPL-affiliated. A sister team of the Mumbai Indians will have Charlotte Edwards, the former England captain, as their coach, having landed a WPL side for $111m.

The Royal Challengers-associated side to represent Bangalore cost $110m. Delhi Capitals’ owners bought a WPL team for $99m.

The two remaining sides both have links to the UAE’s DP World International League T20. Adani Sportsline, who own ILT20-title chasing Gulf Giants, bid $158m for the Ahmedabad side.

Capri Global, whose Sharjah Warriors exited the ILT20 at the league phase, own the Lucknow side in WPL, having paid $93m.

When is the auction?

Players are set to be recruited via an auction in Mumbai on Monday, February 13.

Leading Indian players like Harmanpreet Kaur, Jemimah Rodrigues and Deepti Sharma have a base price of around $60,000.

That is the same value for overseas stars such as Sophie Ecclestone, the England spinner, Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner, and Sophie Devine, the New Zealand batter.

UAE's Theertha Satish during a women's T20 World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Could a UAE player be selected?

The organisers have stipulated each squad should have a minimum of 15 players and a maximum of 18.

This will include seven overseas players, five of whom can play in the starting XI – as long as one of those selected is from an associate nation – such as the UAE.

Out of the 409 players on the list for the auction, eight are from Associate countries. That includes Thailand opener Natthakan Chantham, who played in the Women’s T20 Challenge, which was the three-team event that was the forebear for the WPL.

Ka Ying Chan, from Hong Kong, Tara Norris, of United States, and Netherlands’ Sterre Kalis are all on the list, as well as four UAE players.

Who are the UAE players?

As the ICC Women’s Associate Cricketer of the Year for 2022, it is likely Esha Oza will be among the most sought after players from beyond the Test nations.

Theertha Satish, who once trialled for India’s U17s football team, is also highly-regarded having played alongside international stars at the FairBreak Invitational in Dubai last year.

The wicketkeeper batter captained UAE at the U19 World Cup in South Africa last month.

Two schoolgirls are also on the list. Mahika Gaur, who was born in England and recently moved back there for boarding school, but was brought up in Dubai, is a left-arm quick bowler.

Vaishnave Mahesh is a promising leg-spin bowler. She only turned 16 in December.

How much do they stand to make?

The UAE players all have a base price of around $12,000. So some way short of the salaries set to be fetched by the higher-profile stars – but still enough to make it worthwhile asking for time off school.

Updated: February 11, 2023, 4:57 AM