Australia’s entire 15-player T20 World Cup squad is among the list of 28 Australians in search of a big payday after making the cut for the first Women’s Premier League auction.
More than 1500 players from around the world nominated for the auction to be held on February 13 during an Australian training day at the T20 World Cup in South Africa.
But the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which runs the competition, culled that list to 409, with the Aussies among 163 overseas players vying for just 30 spots among the five teams.
Each will be splashing $2.1m on their squads, with six Australian stars, including captain Meg Lanning, vice-captain Alyssa Healy and star all-rounder Ellyse Perry, setting the highest reserve price of about $87,000.
When bidding kicks off, that price will likely rise into six figures, with several players in the squad of the reigning T20 World Cup champions sure to attract significant attention.
Tahlia McGrath, the No.1-ranked T20 batter in the world and recently crowned ICC T20 player of the year, is on the second tier at $70,000 with five other Aussies.
The 22-match tournament will be played from March 4 to 26, with all games to be held at the Brabourne Stadium and the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
Teenage Australian fast bowler Darcie Brown, who is also among those with the highest reserve price, said the auction wouldn’t be a World Cup distraction.
“We’ve discussed it. A few of the girls are going to go and might have a little bit of money, but we have a World Cup first,” she said.
“The auction is in the middle of the tournament, but at the same time you can’t change what happens.”
Retired Australian great Rachael Haynes will coach the Gujarat franchise and could look to grab as many of her former teammates as possible.
The auction will take place midway through an Australian training session in South Africa, two days after their opening clash with New Zealand.
Australians in the 2023 WPL auction
Base price of $87,000
Meg Lanning, Ashleigh Gardner, Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Darcie Brown
Base price of $70,000
Beth Mooney, Tahlia McGrath, Megan Schutt, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Amanda-Jade Wellington
Base price of $52,000
Annabel Sutherland, Elyse Villani, Erin Burns, Nicola Carey, Sarah Coyte, Hannah Darlington, Kim Garth, Heather Graham, Grace Harris, Georgia Wareham, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Holly Ferling, Anesu Mushangwe
Base price of $17,500
Laura Harris, Tess Flintoff