Delhi Capitals made some smart buys in the Women’s Premier League (WPL) auctions, purchasing Australia captain Meg Lanning, India’s U-19 World Cup-winning skipper Shafali Verma and Jemimah Rodrigues.
But the team’s owner Parth Jindal made it clear that ‘it’s too early’ to decide on a captain for the Delhi outfit. “It’s too early for that. Of course, there are captaincy options in those names. One is a U-19 World Cup-winning captain, Meg Lanning is a legend of the game. Jemimah, too, is a wonderful reader of the game. But it all depends on the coach and who else we pick in the end. But there are captaincy options for sure,” Jindal said.
‘Beauty of the auction’
After starting the proceedings slowly, Delhi Capitals paced up the process in the third set and roped in three big names. “We have a ceiling price for every player, if the player goes above the ceiling, we have to pull out. We think some of the players went above our estimation, so we are happy with our buys so far,” Jindal said.
Having been part of the IPL auctions, it was a challenge for the Capitals to adjust to a relatively lesser purse, but Jindal referred to it as the ‘beauty of the auction’.
“That’s the beauty of the auction. We have to re-calibrate the numbers because we are used to the men’s (IPL) numbers and then you come in here… but, the budget is the budget and we are looking at it as the percentage of the purse. That’s the beauty of the auction. If you get it wrong, you get it wrong and your team suffers. If you get it right, you really get it right. It’s a balancing act,” he said.
The franchises literally had a fortnight to prepare for the auction, and Jindal admitted that it was ‘extremely rushed’. “It’s extremely rushed. Everything happened very fast. Teams will assemble quickly and the matches are also nearly upon us in two weeks’ time. It’s new for me personally,” he said.
“I am a follower of women’s cricket, but apart from Indian players and a couple of legendary players from other teams, I did not know many names. It’s as competitive, as tricky and some skill sets are different from the men’s league. You see more all-rounders here. I felt like a standard X student trying to learn the entire year’s syllabus in the last nine days. It’s the same for everyone,” Jindal added.
But that’s where its support staff - coach Jonathan Batty, and assistant coach Hemlata Kala - came in and guided the owners to make the right choices. The franchise also roped in former India international and erstwhile national selector Mithu Mukherjee to assist them with inputs in the auction.
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