New Delhi : Harmanpreet Kaur has become India’s 1st Women’s cricketer to be signed by an overseas T20 franchise as she signed a deal with Sydney Thunders, which is also the reigning Big Bash League champions. Harmanpreet will now play in the second edition of the tournament which is scheduled to take place in December-January. Harmanpreet's deal has been confirmed by Anurag Thakur, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
As per reports, three franchises were in the race to sign the aggressive middle-order batter before Sydney Thunder sealed the deal. It is the first official signing since the BCCI gave the green signal for women cricketers in India to participate in the foreign leagues, and agreed to issue the required no-objection certificate (NoC). Incidentally, Adelaide Strikers were keen on signing Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami for the 2015 edition of WBBL. However, Cricbuzz understands that their domestic teams did not give the consent.
"I think we saw in the Indian team some very dynamic players, including Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur, I think these two stood out," Alex Blackwell, the Thunder captain, had noted. "We have a pretty solid team but we have an opportunity to bring another overseas players in and we'll be looking to spend that spot wisely. Hopefully we'll get one of the best players around the world."
Harmanpreet's ability to crunch powerful blows first came into prominence, when she netted a quick-fire innings of 33 against England in a T20I game played in Mumbai in 2010. Since then, she has been a consistent performer for India across formats.
Earlier this year, Harmanpreet also essayed a flamboyant knock of 46 off mere 31 balls against Australia in a T20I game that took place at Adelaide Oval, propelling India to a historic win. She also contributed both with bat and ball in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 played in India.