Last season, Harmanpreet became the first Indian woman ever to play in a foreign T20 league when she featured in the Women’s Big Bash League. She finished the season as the second-highest scorer for the Thunders as she amassed 296 runs at an average of 59.2 with a strike rate of 117. As a bowler, she took six wickets including a four wicket haul against the Melbourne Stars. Harmanpreet was chosen as Sydney Thunder’s Player of the Tournament for her impressive performances.
She added more feathers to her hat during the World Cup qualifiers and then the ICC Women’s World Cup as she single handedly steered India to the final. In the semi-finals against Australia, she smashed an unbeaten 171 runs from 115 balls – the highest score in the tournament’s knockout stages.
Thunder general manager Lee Germon expressed how Harmanpreet was the most wanted player following the World Cup. “Following the Women’s World Cup, Harmanpreet was the hottest property in cricket,” Germon said. “She showed during that tournament, and through her performances with the Thunder, that she is one of, if not the most, destructive batters in the game at the moment.”
Thunder coach Jo Broadbent spoke about the value Harmanpreet brought to the side. “She’s a match-winner and that’s what you need in T20, you need those match-winners,” Broadbent told adelaidenow.com.au. “She’s got that really good blend of technique and power, she really works on the basics. She’s just incredible and such a great person to have. Her bat does most of the talking.
“Normally in the women’s (T20) game if you get your run rate up to eight runs an over, you rarely see players explode and get over 10 runs an over and do that for four or five overs. She can do that. If we had to get 10 or 12 runs an over and she was in the middle, you’d almost be backing her to win a game.”
First Published: November 24, 2017, 3:13 PM IST