The auction for the second season of the Women’s Premier League (WPL) involved 165 players, with 104 Indians and 61 overseas players going under the hammer. The five franchises, namely Delhi Capitals, Gujarat Giants, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and UP Warriorz, aimed to secure the 30 available slots. Hence, there were some surprising decisions taken by the franchise.
Similarly, in an unexpected twist, Chamari Athapaththu, a standout batter in world cricket, remained unsold in the WPL 2024 auction held in Mumbai on Saturday, December 9. Despite setting her base price as low as ₹30 lakh, she failed to attract any bidders and had to go unsold. This outcome is disappointing for her, especially considering her excellent performance in the recently concluded WBBL in Australia.
Chamari Athapaththu is an Aggressive left-handed batter who is very well known for her attacking approach, which went unsold in the WPL 2024 auction. Despite her potential to strengthen any team, no franchise bid for her services. This is also the second straight season where the veteran Sri Lankan all-rounder will not be featured. But there were a few franchises who should have opted to go for her looking at their team combination. Let us look at them;
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Despite the potential of strengthening Royal Challengers Bangalore's top order, Chamari Athapaththu went unsold in the auction. The missed opportunity could have positioned RCB as serious title contenders, particularly posing a challenge to rival Mumbai Indians. Athapaththu's aggressive batting style and left-handed approach might have added significant heft to RCB's batting lineup, providing a formidable force for the upcoming season and intensifying the competition with Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians missed the chance to secure Chamari Athapaththu, a potential opening partner for retained player Hayley Matthews. The team, opting for Shabnim Ismail as their sole foreign pick in the auction, overlooked the opportunity to solidify their opening combination. Now, they must seek another player to join Matthews at the top of the order, as Athapaththu went unsold in the auction.
UP Warriorz had the chance to create an intriguing opening partnership by selecting Chamari Athapaththu alongside Danni Wyatt. However, they opted for Grace Harris, a top performer in the Women's Big Bash League, to join Wyatt at the top. While Harris and Wyatt are expected to form a formidable opening duo, the Warriorz missed an excellent opportunity to add a left-hander to their order, potentially bringing a unique dimension to their batting approach.