India opener Smriti Mandhana, England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt and Australia’s Ashleigh Gardner struck it rich in Monday’s player auction for next month’s inaugural Women’s Premier League.
Nearly 450 players went under the hammer and several of them experienced the biggest payday of their career after five franchises entered the auction with a team purse of Rs 12 crores (Rs 120 million) each.
Other than the players, Mallika Sagar was trending for the perfection with which she conducted the auction.
‘Mallika Sagar is a terrific auctioneer. Confident, clear and very poised. Straight away the right choices in the WPL. Well done @BCCI’, cricketer Dinesh Karthik tweeted.
Mallika is a Mumbai-based art collector consultant for Modern and Contemporary Indian art and currently works with Art India Consultants.
Over the years, the likes of Richard Madley and Hugh Edmeades have been familiar faces during the IPL players auction, but Mallika Sagar was the first female auctioneer to be associated with a T20 auction.
In order to familarise herself with the auction, Mallika Sagar, a third generation cricket lover in her family, watched previous auction videos.
Auctioning an high profile sports event is not new for her, having previously conducted auctions of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2021.
Her career started at Christie’s in 2001 when she became the first woman auctioneer of Indian origin at the famed auction house.
During an interview ahead of the auction, Mallika said, ‘I am very honoured to be asked and proud to be doing that. Indian women will finally get their due on the international stage, they will have the ability to play at the highest level.’
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