WPL Auction 2023 : The inaugural WPL Auction 2023 held in Mumbai on February 13, turned out to be a big payday for Australia’s marquee players, with 14 out of the 30 overseas players sold being Australian. The players commanded huge sums, with star all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner leading the pack, fetching a whopping ₹3.2 crore from the Gujarat Giants. Other Australian national team players like Beth Mooney, Georgia Wareham, and Annabel Sutherland were also snapped up by the Giants, while skipper Meg Lanning was bought by the Delhi Capitals. All-rounder Ellyse Perry and wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy went to the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the UP Warriorz respectively.
However, not all Australian players were as fortunate at the WPL Auction 2023. While fast bowler Darcie Brown withdrew her name from the auction, other players who were expected to fetch bids went unsold. Here’s a closer look at three such players:
Alana King – Leg-spinner who should have been snapped up
It was nothing short of stunning to see Alana King go unsold at the WPL Auction 2023. The leg-spinner is considered to be one of the best in the world at present, and is also a handy contributor with the bat. King can operate across various phases of a bowling innings and is known to be accurate with her radar, mixing her pace well. Given her impressive skillset, she was expected to command decent attention at the auction. However, the fact that there were only five teams in the tournament and a maximum of six overseas slots each, might have played a big role in King not fetching a bid at the WPL Auction 2023.
Kim Garth – Dual International who missed out
Kim Garth started off by debuting for Ireland in international cricket, but went on to represent Australia, playing the recent series in India in December 2022. A swing bowler who can set up games in the powerplay, Garth is currently part of the Australian contingent at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa. Garth is also a very handy contributor with the bat, and this multi-dimensional skillset makes her a good fit for any T20 team. Unfortunately, Garth wasn’t able to see a paddle go up for her at the WPL Auction 2023.
Tess Flintoff – Young all-rounder with potential
Nineteen-year-old Tess Flintoff is one of the more exciting prospects in Australian cricketing circles today. A seamer who can hit the ball a long way, she smashed the record for the fastest fifty in the Women’s Big Bash League in November last year, racking it up off just 16 deliveries. Flintoff remains uncapped at the international level, but she should make it in due course of time. The package that she offers as an all-rounder could have been viewed seriously by franchises at the WPL Auction 2023, who unfortunately didn’t show any interest in acquiring her.
In conclusion, the WPL Auction 2023 saw Australia’s marquee players dominate the proceedings, but it also highlighted the fact that some talented players can miss out due to the constraints of the auction format. While Alana King, Kim Garth, and Tess Flintoff went unsold, they are sure to find takers in the future, given their impressive skills and potential. The WPL is set to be an exciting competition with the best players from around the world coming together to showcase their skills and compete for the top honors.