India’s young batting sensation Shafali Verma and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav have been acquired by Sydney Sixers for the upcoming season of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), the franchise announced on Monday.
Earlier on Sunday, another WBBL franchise – Sydney Thunders had snapped Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma.
Shafali, India’s youngest debutant in international cricket, had come up with stunning performances in Australia last year during the T20 World Cup and recently featured for Birminghim Phoenix in inaugural edition of The Hundred in Englnad.
On Sunday, she once again starred with the bat for India with a match-winning 56-run knock as as India upset the might Australian team, snapping a 26-game win streak.
Commenting on the development, Verma said: “This is a very good opportunity for me and my goal is to just enjoy myself, to make some new friends and have fun.”
“I want to play WBBL and back myself and just believe in myself,” she was quoted as saying by the Sydney Sixers website.
Earlier in June this year, Verma, a right-handed batswoman had became the youngest player, male or female, to represent India in all three formats of international cricket. She later featured in The Hundred under Sixers’ Head Coach Ben Sawyer.
“Shafali is very impressive. She’s such a talent and she’s fearless,” Sawyer said.
“She hits to different areas of the field and plays shots that are different to the other three girls in that top four. The experience I had with her in Birmingham was that she wants to learn, she wants to get better and she wants to grow as a player and a person,” Sawyer added.
On the other hand, Yadav was one of the discoveries of the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20, finishing as the joint-leading wicket-taker for India in the tournament and expressing his delight over the development, Sawyer said: “Radha brings a skillset that we have never had at the Sixers and that’s very exciting.”
“I think a left-arm ortho bowler is so important in the WBBL and having one who is world class is such a great opportunity for this team. She has also batted in the middle of the order for India so she is handy with the bat too,” he added.
Yadav, meanwhile, expressed that she was looking forward to make her WBBL debut alongside Verma.
“Lots of young Indian girls want to play in the WBBL. It is a very good standard and I am so happy to be able to play for the Sixers this year,” she said.
Notably, the Sydney Sixers will kick-off their WBBL 07 campaign in the season opener against the Melbourne Stars on Thursday, October 14 in Hobart.
Another Indian duo of Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma were on Sunday signed as replacement players by Sydney Thunder for the upcoming season after the English duo of Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont was unavailable for the upcoming edition of the WBBL.
While Mandhana had previously featured for Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes in the WBBL, Deepti will make her debut in the league.