By competing in the renowned Big Bash League, Indian women’s cricketers advance to a new level. In contrast to men’s cricket, Cricket Australia runs the Women’s Big Bash Competition, a T20 game for women. Even though women’s cricket continues to gain popularity throughout the globe, CA shows the desire to expand the domestic women’s league.
Up to eight Indian players competed in the Women’s Big – Bash League (WBBL) in 2021–22, marking the highest level of Indian presence in the league’s history. Only 3 Indians have previously competed in the league: Veda Krishnamurthi, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Smriti Mandhana, In the 2021–22 season, the Indian contingent had the highest player pool among other foreign teams.
Check out how the Indians performed in the WBBL 2021–2022 below:
Harmanpreet Kaur (Melbourne Renegades)
Harmanpreet Kaur, the captain of the India T20I team, was awarded the WBBL Player of the Tournament, and rightfully so. She led the Melbourne Renegades’ strong run to the playoffs in both the bowling and batting rankings. Kaur amassed 406 runs at the strike rate of 130.96, including three fifty-plus scores that won matches, and the tournament record-breaking 18 sixes. Her right-arm off-spin produced 15 wickets at 7.45 runs per over, including significant ones in the Powerplays and late innings. Because of her exceptional all-around play, was the only Indian as well as Renegade to be included on the WBBL Tournament’s Team.
Jemimah Rodrigues (Melbourne Renegades)
Kaur’s fellow countrywoman and Melbourne Renegades colleague Jemimah Rodrigues was indeed the group’s second-highest run scorer with 333 runs at an average of 27.75. While Rodrigues’ strike rate was a leisurely 116.43, she was a helpful addition in the opening spot and was named Player of the Match for her unbroken 75 off 56 versus Sydney Thunder. Rodrigues would have preferred to build upon those starts and win the season, but she only allowed six scoring between 13 to 27 in 13 innings.
Smriti Mandhana (Sydney Thunder)
Flamboyant Indian opener Smriti Mandhana smashed an unbeaten 114 against 64 balls in a four-run defeat to the Renegades to record the joint-highest total in WBBL history and was the first Indian to achieve a hundred within the league. The left-hander was unfortunate, however, as her 64 runs off 44 balls also came in a close loss to the Gades. Mandhana led the Sydney Thunder in run scoring with 377 runs at a striking of 130.44 despite a shaky start to the competition. She also led the club in scoring in two of their four victories this season.
Deepti Sharma (Sydney Thunder)
Another encouraging aspect of the unsuccessful season for the reigning champion Sydney Thunder was all-around player Deepti Sharma. Sharma was her group’s third-highest run-scorer despite hitting further down the order, with 211 runs at a stellar average of 35.16. She came in second on Thunder’s list of wicket-takers with 13 kills at an economy rate of 7.15. Her 13 kills included a collective six for 38 in 8 overs in the team’s first two league triumphs.
Shafali Verma (Sydney Sixers)
Shafali Verma struggled to find her groove for the rest of the competition after a few standout efforts, including a remarkable runout & a dazzling 50-ball 57. Verma was a shell of her powerful self during her first WBBL season with the Sydney Sixers, averaging 17.36 while toiling for 191 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 105.52. As the Sixers’ disastrous season came to an end with six consecutive defeats, her awful stretch of play saw her concede eight single-digit scores, including three ducks.
Radha Yadav (Sydney Sixers)
Radha was the Sixers’ second-highest wicket-taker for the season even though the left-arm spinner gained attention for her outstanding catch at point. For her 9 wickets, bowled cheaply at 6.81, kept it tightly in the middle overs, and secured crucial wickets in the last few overs. The 21-year-old batted in the lower orders a few times when the squad was unable to reach that three-digit barrier, scoring 43 runs during five innings at an average of 21.3.
Richa Ghosh (Hobart Hurricanes)
Following her impressive performances in the multi-format game against Australia, the 18-year-WBBL old’s debut with the Hobart Hurricanes got off to a bright start. However, after scoring 67 runs in the initial two games, Ghosh managed only 95 more runs from the last 12 games, totaling 162 runs while only hitting 95.29. The middle-order hitter finished the competition with 13 runs from the last 5 innings, including an undefeated 16-ball 24-run cameo in a victorious run-chase.
Poonam Yadav (Brisbane Heat)
Poonam Yadav Brisbane Heat’s senior leg spinner had a poor campaign, especially considering that three of the best five wicket-takers in the WBBL 2021 are spinners. Poonam’s international credentials called for a more significant performance, even if her 10 wickets in the competition at a rate of 6.63 runs per over don’t hurt her stats. Before grabbing a game-changing three for 17 versus Sydney Thunder, she had a strong start to the competition, scooping up 4 wickets in her first two games. Without these efforts, Poonam only took three wickets in ten games and let up more than nine runs per over in the latter stages.
Do Indian Cricketers Participate in WBBL Previously?
Indian cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur (Sydney Thunders), Veda Krishnamurthy (Hobart Hurricanes), and Smriti Mandhana (Brisbane Heat & Hobart Hurricanes), participated in the competition. As per the latest report of today BBL news, Indian cricketers were unable to play in the 2019 – 20 season due to a conflict with a trip to the West Indies. Due to a conflict with the Women’s T20 Challenge in 2020, some Indian players who were scheduled to compete in it were unable to do so.
The Women’s IPL has been played in India since 2018 as well, although there are plans to add more teams in the future. The Hundred competition, which was contested between 8 teams in July & August 2021, was hosted by England for the very first time in cricket history, excluding these two nations. It’s interesting to note that England, which hosts the event for women’s teams with 8 groups that share the same title as men’s teams, also concentrates on the development of women’s leagues.
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