It’s not often that a World Cup match feels like the day’s most underwhelming event.
But with the Women’s Premier League auction taking place on the morning of England’s encounter with Ireland in Paarl, it is no wonder all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt says it all feels “a bit weird”.
In the competition, a women’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the world’s largest franchise tournament, players are expected to compete for potentially life-changing sums of money.
The auction has sparked debate, speculation, and excitement about which players will be signed by the five franchises, three of which are owned by IPL teams.
“We don’t want to avoid discussing it and be all secretive about it,” Sciver-Brunt, 30, said.
“We had a group discussion about how people want to go about it.”
England play Ireland at 13:00 GMT, and the auction is expected to begin around 09:00 GMT, which means that some – but possibly not all – of the players will know whether they have been selected or not before the game begins.
Captain Heather Knight admitted before the tournament that it would be “a distraction,” and the timings leave some doubt about whether the players will know their fate before play.
“How individuals want to go about it and prepare is up to them,” said Sciver-Brunt, who is expected to be one of the most sought-after players.
“But once we arrive on the field, we will be completely focused on our game. It’s an exciting time, but it’s odd that it’s taking place on game day.”
Another England player expected to be among the first to be selected is left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone, the world’s best T20 bowler who took 3-23 in England’s opening World Cup victory over the West Indies.