India first.. Rest is next.. Indian cricketers are supported in the auction.. Teams ignoring foreign players


First Published Feb 13, 2023, 8:55 PM IST

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi often chants the mantra ‘India First’ at the national and international business conferences and other events he participates in. He took up this slogan to promote the products made in the country by creating love for ‘Maken India’ among the youth who are chasing international brands. This is how ‘Vocal for Local’ became popular. With the good intention of promoting products made in India, using indigenous products, exporting our country’s products to the world, the central government is widely promoting these products. The five franchises in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auction are surely following the same principle despite the impetus given by Prime Minister Modi.

In this auction conducted by BCCI for the first time, many names of emerging stars in women’s cricket were registered, but around five teams (Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Delhi) ignored them. International star pacers, star bowlers, batsmen who play consistently, the franchises did not even look at them. Franchises that fill the pockets of foreign cricketers in the Men’s IPL auction have looked towards India in the Women’s Premier League auction.

The franchises competing to get Indian players in the Mumbai auction did not go for foreign stars. Unlike Men’s IPL, crores were not spent on each foreign player. Australian all-rounder Ashley Gardner is the only overseas player who fetched the highest price in this auction. Gujarat Giants paid her Rs. 3.20 crores. After that in the list Natalie Scheever was Rs. Mumbai bought it for 3.20 crores.

Can’t care about captains..

Many women cricketers who are captaining their country’s national teams at the international level have registered their names in this auction. South African captain Sun Luzi, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu, England captain Heather Knight and West Indies captain Hayley Mathews were ignored by the franchises. But the franchises picked up England captain Heather Knight and West Indies skipper Hayley Mathews who were unsold in the final stages of the auction. It is noteworthy that South Africa’s star batsman Laura Volwardt was not sold in this auction.

Pacers are the same story..

Not only captains, batsmen but also bowlers are the same story. Australian pacer Megan, Bangladeshi bowler Jahanara along with Kiwis seamer Lee Tahuhu and South African cricketer Ayabonga Khaka have been looked down upon by the franchises of Windies’ Shakira Selman. The franchises did not even look at the cricketers who only spin. Megan, who was on the unsold list, was eventually bought by RCB.

Yama demand for Indian players..

All the franchises have mainly focused on Indian cricketers, barring a few foreign players. Apart from men’s cricket in India, fans also remember the players of other teams. But in women’s cricket, which is gaining popularity now, the fans here do not know much about the players of other countries except our cricketers. For whatever reason, the franchises have preferred the cricketers who are currently playing in the Indian team as well as the young cricketers. This is clear from the way the auction was conducted.

Team India stars Smriti Mandhana, Harman Preet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Jemima Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Renuka Singh Thakur, Richa Ghosh, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Shikha Pandey and Sneh Rana are among the franchises competing. Smriti Mandhana (Rs 3.40 crores) topped the highest price in this league while Deepti Sharma (Rs 2.60 crores), Jemima (Rs 2.20 crores) and Shafali Verma (Rs 2 crores) fetched unexpected prices.

Franchises have not shown much interest in the Under-19 Women’s World Cup-winning team either. Except vice-captain Shweta Sehrawat, Prasavi Chopra and Titas Sadhu, the others did not get much priority in that team. Mannath Kashyap, Najla CMC, Sonam Yadav and Shabnam were disappointed.

Among the overseas players, most of the players from Australia and England got a place. In Men’s IPL, no franchise has prioritized West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand players in every team.

Last Updated Feb 13, 2023, 8:55 PM IST


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