Indian players including teen sensation Shafali Verma have emerged as the hottest overseas property for the Women’s Big Bash League, considering they will already be in Australia before the event starts on October 14.
On Thursday, the tournament schedule was announced. A pink ball Test and three T20s will be played by India against Australia in September-October. Due to their 14-day quarantine upon arrival in Australia, it makes signing them much easier.
The Sydney Sixers are close to signing Shafali and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav.
Cricket.com.au reports that Smriti Mandhana Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Poonam Yadav could also be in demand for WBBL matches.
The former Australia captain and current Sydney Sixers list manager Lisa Sthalekar told reporters on Thursday that (Shafali Verma) is on everyone’s list.
“She loves the Australian conditions. We saw that in the T20 World Cup. Every club will have some vacancies, and (there may be) an Indian player on their books who can fill those roles… I’m sure that they are picking up the phone to fill those positions.
“It helps that they’re in the country and have already completed the two-week quarantine.”
Indians are also in demand because England’s tour of Pakistan coincides with the WBBL.
Despite the pandemic, Cricket Australia’s Big Bash head Alistair Dobson expressed confidence in obtaining overseas players’ services.
The process of getting players to join is inevitable, but we have a great deal of experience from last year, and we proved that we can work closely with governments, players, and other stakeholders, Dobson said.
“We are aware of the challenges, but we are hopeful of working around them again.”. We must adapt to the ever-changing environment and be nimble and flexible.”