Annabel Sutherland's $364,000 payday as cricket fans blast Chamari Athapaththu 'joke'

The Aussie all-rounder was the big winner from the Women's Premier League auction, but the WBBL player of the tournament missed out again.

Chamari Athapaththu, Georgia Wareham, Annabel Sutherland and Meg Lanning.
Georgia Wareham and Annabel Sutherland (R) have joined Meg Lanning in the WPL, but Chamari Athapaththu was overlooked. Image: Getty

Aussie cricket all-rounder Annabel Sutherland has scored an extraordinary $364,000 payday in the Women's Premier League auction, but WBBL star Chamari Athapaththu copped a bizarre snub. Sutherland emerged as the biggest winner from the WPL auction on Saturday night, where she was picked by the Delhi Capitals.

Sutherland's $364,000 fee for the second edition of tournament - which will be played from late February to mid-March - was the equal-highest price for any of the 30 players bought on Saturday night from the 165 who nominated. The 22-year-old was part of a bidding war between the Capitals and Mumbai Indians, with the Delhi franchise eventually snaring her services.

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It comes as reward for a big year after Sutherland made the WBBL team of the tournament last month, starred in the home one-day international series against West Indies and scored a maiden Test century during the Ashes. The Victorian is now the second-highest paid Australian in the WPL after fellow all-rounder Ash Gardner went for more than $580,000 ahead of the inaugural tournament last season.

Phoebe Litchfield and Annabel Sutherland.
Phoebe Litchfield and Annabel Sutherland were both picked up in the WPL auction. (Photo by Martin Keep/Getty Images)

“She was the No.1 all-rounder on the list, she can bowl in all three phases of the game and can bat anywhere from three to No.7,” said Capitals coach Jonathan Batty. “Annabel is a very multi-skilled player...she’s really level, she’s got great leadership attributes and is a great team player.

“She covers a lot of bases with us – a fast bowler and her batting prowess really completes our squad. She was going to be our No.1 pick from the start with all those attributes.”

The WPL was introduced earlier this year as a female version of the hugely popular IPL. Sutherland was one of five Australians picked up in this year's auction, in which nine international players were able to be selected between the five franchises.

Phoebe Litchfield was the fifth-most expensive international, picked up for $182,000 by Gujarat Giants. Lauren Cheatle, who was recently recalled to the Australian side to tour India, will also join the Giants on a $55,000 deal.

Spinners Georgia Wareham and Sophie Molineux were the other Australians selected, going for $73,000 and $55,000 from Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively. However Alana King, Amanda-Jade Wellington, Nicola Carey and Kim Garth were all overlooked and went unsold.

Disbelief after Chamari Athapaththu cops astonishing snub

Sri Lankan star Chamari Athapaththu, who was recently named player of the WBBL, was also snubbed in staggering fashion. “I thought she was going to be one of the top three picks,” Mumbai Indians coach Charlotte Edwards said. “I’m shocked she didn’t get taken. She’s a high-quality player who has performed brilliantly over the last 12 months in franchise cricket.”

Athapaththu was also overlooked in auctions for The Hundred, Women‘s Caribbean Premier League and WBBL in recent times, however the Sydney Thunder offered her a last-minute lifeline as an overseas replacement player. The Sri Lankan veteran proved a point as she scored 552 runs at an average of 42.46, and also took nine wickets to get player of the tournament honours.

Chamari Athapaththu in the WBBL.
Chamari Athapaththu in action for the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The WPL offers 30 spots for international players, but most were already taken by players retained by their franchises. Nine Australians fall into that category, including Gardner, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Beth Mooney and new national captain Alyssa Healy.

with AAP

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