Money no object when you want the best in the business is RCB’s watchword

It won an intense bidding war with Mumbai Indians to pick Smriti; added overseas stars Perry, Schutt and Devine along with India’s Richa and Renuka

Updated - March 03, 2023 01:14 pm IST

Published - March 03, 2023 12:54 am IST

RCB bought Smriti Mandhana for ₹3.4 crore, the most expensive buy of the auction. 

RCB bought Smriti Mandhana for ₹3.4 crore, the most expensive buy of the auction.  | Photo Credit: ANI

Royal Challengers Bangalore loves to buy the biggest of stars. For the IPL it signed up men like Virat Kohli, A.B. de Villiers and Chris Gayle. The auction for the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League also saw the franchise bidding for the brightest stars in the women’s game.

RCB showed its intention with the very first player to go under the hammer. It won an intense bidding war with Mumbai Indians to pick Smriti Mandhana, the elegant India opener, for ₹3.4 crore. That would remain the most expensive buy of the auction.

Stars in the line-up

RCB also roped in stars like Australia’s Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt, New Zealand’s Sophie Devine and India’s Richa Ghosh and Renuka Singh. RCB was, indeed, able to put together an enviable squad.

It has a formidable bunch of all-rounders — Perry, Devine, Dane van Niekerk (South Africa) and Heather Knight (England). They, along with Smriti, who has been named skipper, form an experienced batting line-up.

Veteran all-rounder Erin Burns, who is also from Australia, is another smart signing by RCB.

In Richa Ghosh, RCB has a brilliant finisher. The wicketkeeper is fast evolving as one of the most feared batters in women’s cricket.

Renuka and Schutt could form one of the most lethal new-ball attacks in the WPL, while Perry is an excellent option as the third seamer.

Uncapped left-arm seamer Komal Zanzad, who has been around for a long time on the domestic circuit, should be itching for an opportunity like the WPL. And there is also Devine to bowl seam.

RCB may not boast the biggest names in spin, but a couple of lesser-known home players — both from Bengaluru, in fact — offer promise.

At the Senior Women’s T20 Challenger Trophy tournament at Raipur in November, off-spinner Shreyanka Patil and left-arm spinner Sahana Pawar had impressed.

They bowled some fine spells in front of the chief selector of Indian women’s cricket and RCB’s talent scout. There is also the more seasoned left-armer Preeti Bose. Van Niekerk is a fine leg-spinner, too.

Don’t be surprised if RCB’s women bring the league title home to Bengaluru before the men.

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