Kerr earns big pay day at WPL auctions, Devine also selected

Tue, Feb 14
Melie Kerr.

White Ferns all-rounder Melie Kerr has earned an impressive pay day at the auction for the inaugural Women's Premier League as one of two Kiwis selected for the upcoming T20 tournament in India.

Kerr and Sophie Devine were taken this morning among 409 cricketers hoping to be selected for the new competition which launches next month after the ongoing T20 World Cup in South Africa.

Devine was the first to go, earning her asking price of $96,000 with Royal Challengers Bangalore before the Mumbai Indians won the rights to Kerr's talents for an impressive $192,000.

It means 17 other Kiwis who were listed for the auction - including Suzie Bates and Lea Tahuhu - miss out.

Earlier this month Bates said there had been "some talk" between players from different nations at the T20 World Cup about the tournament to find out who had put their names forward and who hadn't.

"We've talked about it as a group, just making sure that when it does happen we'll acknowledge that," Bates said.

"There will be some congratulations and perhaps commiserations but then we'll be moving on and focusing on this World Cup."

Sophie Devine launches the ball against England in the bronze medal match of the Commonwealth Games.

India opener Smriti Mandhana, England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt and Australia's Ashleigh Gardner were the highest paid players with Mandhana also going to Bangalore for $653,000.

Mandhana and Devine were part of an impressive line-up constructed by Bangalore which also includes Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry and India wicketkeeper-batter Richa Ghosh.

"It's a dream result for us to get Mandhana, Perry and Devine," Mike Hesson, former Black Caps coach and Bangalore's director of cricket, said.

"Smriti has got plenty of captaincy experience and is familiar with the Indian conditions so it's highly likely (she'll be captain)."

Kerr will have India captain Harmanpreet Kaur joining her in Mumbai.

"It is a game-changer for all of us," Kaur said of the auction in a video from the ongoing T20 World Cup in South Africa.

"This will entirely change women's cricket not just in India. We all are looking forward to that."

The inaugural season of the WPL will be played from March 4 to 26, with all 22 matches held in Mumbai.


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