Deepti Sharma and Smriti Mandhana Sign Sydney Thunder for WBBL
By Tanushka Gain
on Sun Sep 26 2021
Defending WBBL champion Sydney Thunder staged a coup with India batsman Smriti Mandhana and all-rounder Deepti Sharma before defending their title in October.
Smriti Mandhana is coming off her highest ODI score of the year. He is set to play for his third WBBL club after previous stints with the Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes.
Deepti Sharma has never played in WBBL. But he has experience in domestic T20 leagues. She claimed 10 wickets at an economy rate of 5.26 in the inaugural Hundred women’s competition for London Spirit and, along with Smriti Mandhana, was part of Western Storm’s title-winning 2019 campaign in the now-defunct Kia Super League.
The pair comes in as replacements for the English duo Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont. who was unavailable despite the cancellation of England’s tour of Pakistan.
Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav are also set to play alongside Verma’s father Sanjeev in the WBBL. confirming to ESPN Cricinfo that he signed with the Sydney Sixers in May.
25-year-old Smriti Mandhana said that she is excited to get another chance to play in the WBBL. And he enjoyed the challenge of being an overseas player.
Smriti Mandhana said, ‘Playing in foreign leagues gives you a lot of experience. Especially in the T20 format. “Then, of course, you exchange so much experience with each other. With all the players around the world so you get to learn a lot. Instead of ‘pressure’, I always take it as an opportunity. To learn, and to get used to that pressure because it only builds when you play international cricket.”
Deepti Sharma said, “This is my first time [in WBBL], so I am excited.” “I had offers before, but I couldn’t play because we had [an international] series at that time.
“It’s a big deal for Indian women’s cricket that we have a chance to play in the WBBL. We have to express ourselves in the competition.”
Coach Trevor Griffin, who had previously worked with the pair in the Storm, felt that the Indians were the perfect replacement for Knight and Beaumont.
Griffin said, “It’s disappointing not to be able to get Heather back though. If you could make a choice for her it would be Deepti Sharma – she’s also a star.” “She offers so much with the bat. Deepti Sharma is a match winner. And she also has the talent to bowl in the powerplay, in the middle of a match, or at the death.
“Smriti Mandhana is an opening batsman who has a tremendous ability to take everything forward. I love that she keeps her game really simple; she just wants to score runs. I am happy to have her on the board, And I have no doubt that she will be a great addition to the Thunder.”
WBBL is starting from 14th October. Following India’s ongoing multi-format series against Australia, with the first 20 matches to be in Tasmania.