Sydney Thunder retain Harmanpreet; Smriti to play for Hurricanes in WBBL
Sydney, Nov 27 - India's T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has been retained by the Sydney Thunder franchise for the upcoming fourth edition of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) while her deputy and India opener Smriti Mandhana has been snapped up by the Hobart Hurricanes.
Harmanpreet, who signed a two-year deal with Sydney Thunder ahead of the 2017 edition, will thus represent the franchise for the third successive season in the league.
The Punjab-born Harmanpreet, who is the country's leading run-scorer in the shortest format in 2018, was Thunder's Player of the Season in her first season. The right-hander recently scored her maiden T20I hundred, against New Zealand, at the just-concluded Women's World T20 in the Caribbean.
The Sydney Thunder team begin their 2018-19 season with an away game with Melbourne Renegades.
Smriti too has been in stellar form in 2018, and looks set to set the WBBL on fire with her explosive batting up the order.
Besides being the third highest run-scorer in the shortest format in 2018, the southpaw also finished as the top run-getter during her stint at Western Storm in England, with a tally of 421 runs in nine innings.
Interestingly, Smriti will replace her compatriot Veda Krishnamurthy in the Hurricanes' squad. The Mumbai opener had earlier plied her trade for Brisbane Heat in the second season of WBBL which ended with an ACL injury just ahead of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017.
"I'm really excited to have another opportunity in the WBBL this summer," she said.
"I've heard from many players that the Hurricanes group is a great squad to be around and I can't wait to get to Tasmania for the matches," Smriti added.