Mumbai: India’s women’s cricket vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur has become the first women cricketer from the country to have been roped in by a franchise-based foreign league, when the all-rounder was roped in by the T20 Big Bash League’s (BBL) defending champions Sydney Thunder. She will turn out for the Sydney outfit in the second edition of the league to be held in December-January.
The announcement came from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at the end of the four-day conclave in Dharmasala on Friday. It may be recalled that BCCI had earlier granted permission to the women cricketers to play offshore cricket.
Kaur, essentially an all-rounder, had multiple offers from the Australian franchises, which included last year’s runners-up Sydney Sixers, but apparently the offer from the champions was the most lucrative one.
It may be recalled that India captain Mithali Raj and fast bowler Jhulan Goswami were also offered by Adelaide Strikers in the inaugural edition of the league, but BCCI didn’t grant permission to the duo for playing abroad, the rule that has been done away with by present president Anurag Thakur.
Indian women cricketers gained prominence following their first ever bilateral series win against the Australians just ahead of the World T20. India won the series 2-1 with Harmanpreet smashing a 31-ball 46 in India’s historic run-chase against the Aussies in the first T20 International.
The 27-year-old Punjab all-rounder has played two Tests, 55 ODIs and 61 T20 International donning the India colours. Averaging 25.57, Harmanpreet has scored two tons and eight fifties for India in the one-dayers.