England quartet enter WPL auction at top £50,000 base price

Four England players have entered the inaugural Women’s Premier League auction at the top base price, with Nat and Katherine Sciver-Brunt joining Sophie Ecclestone and Danni Wyatt in the GBP 50,000 bracket.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India received 1,525 applications for the new tournament, which will launch in March, with 409 players making the shortlist. Of those, 24 have entered at the maximum reserve, including the English quartet.

The money available for a five-team competition that lasts just 22 days, represents a significant step change for the women’s game. By comparison The Hundred, hitherto seen as a relatively lucrative option, paid its top stars a maximum fee of GBP 31,250 in 2022.

Each franchise has a purse of around GBP 11.5million to spend on a squad of between 15 and 18 players, meaning the most in-demand individuals can expect contracts that easily hit six figures.

A total of 27 English players have made the cut, including under-19 captain Grace Scrivens as the only uncapped individual. Many will end up disappointed, with a total of 30 overseas slots available and 163 non-Indian applicants available.

But for those who do attract a bidding war the rewards could represent the single biggest payday of their career. Ecclestone, ranked as the number one white-ball bowler in the world, and all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt could well find themselves in that position when they go under the hammer in Mumbai on February 13.