WPL 2024 auction: Athapaththu, Dottin among 165 players in the pool

Chamari Athapaththu bossed the chase by smashing a 26-ball fifty Getty Images

Chamari Athapaththu, Deandra Dottin and Shabnim Ismail are among the biggest names in a pool of 165 players who will go under the hammer at the second WPL auction in Mumbai on December 9.

Among the major capped Indian players listed in the final pool are Veda Krishnamurthy, S Meghana, Meghna Singh and Devika Vaidya. The five franchises will have a combined 30 slots to fill, including nine for overseas players.

Only two players - West Indies allrounder Dottin and Australia pacer Kim Garth - have placed themselves in the highest bracket, at a base price of INR 50 lakh (US$ 60,000 approx.), while Sri Lanka captain Athapaththu, in the middle of a spectacular run of batting form and the second-highest run-getter at the WBBL this year, has listed her base price at INR 30 lakh. She went unsold at the 2023 auction.

Dottin was signed for INR 60 lakh ahead of the inaugural season by Gujarat Giants, but was withdrawn from the squad days before the tournament. At the time, Giants said Dottin was "recovering from a medical situation", a claim she disputed publicly. Dottin was subsequently replaced by Garth, who was let go ahead of the retention deadline.

The Australian pair of Annabel Sutherland and Georgia Wareham, along with England wicketkeeper Amy Jones and Ismail, are bracketed in the second-highest category, with a base price of INR 40 lakh. Like Garth, Sutherland and Wareham were picked by Giants for the inaugural season before being released. Ismail featured in just three matches for UP Warriorz, while Jones had gone unsold.

Thailand batter Natthakan Chantham and USA's Tara Norris are among 15 players from Associate nations in the auction pool, which also has representation from the Netherlands, Scotland, UAE and Hong Kong. Norris, the left-arm seamer, was the only Associate player to feature in the inaugural season of the WPL. She picked up seven wickets in five games for Delhi Capitals, including the tournament's first five-for.

Giants, who finished last in the previous edition, offloaded more than half their squad ahead of the second season. As a result, they have the biggest purse (INR 5.95 crore) and also the maximum slots to fill (ten). Defending champions Mumbai Indians have the lowest budget (INR 2.1 crore).

The inaugural season comprised 22 matches and was played in three venues across Mumbai. The BCCI is in the process of finalising the dates for the second season, which is expected to be held in February. It's also likely that the tournament will be played in multiple cities, with Mumbai and Bengaluru expected to feature.