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Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma to Play for Sydney Thunder in WBBL

India's Deepti Sharma and Smriti Mandhana (Twitter)

India's Deepti Sharma and Smriti Mandhana (Twitter)

India's Deepti Sharma and Smriti Mandhana will turn out for Sydney Thunder for the upcoming season of the Women’s Big Bash League.

Sydney Thunder have signed India’s Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma for the Women’s Big Bash League, with the pair being the defending champions’ replacements for English duo Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont.

Mandhana will be playing the WBBL for her third time, previously featuring for Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes, while Deepti will be her first appearance.

Sydney Thunder coach, Trevor Griffin, was a happy man with the Indian recruits. In fact, Griffin was also their coach when Mandhana and Deepti played for Western Storm in the Kia Super League.

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“She’s (Mandhana) world class,” said Griffin.

“Smriti is an opening batter who has the tremendous ability to take everything in her stride. I like that she keeps her game really simple; she just wants to score runs. I’m delighted to have her on board, and I have no doubt that she’ll prove to be a great addition to Thunder," he added.

Griffin also heaped praise on Deepti. “While it’s disappointing not to be able to have Heather back, if you could choose any replacement for her it would be Deepti – she’s also a star."

“She offers a lot with the bat – Deepti is a match-winner – and she also has the talent to bowl in the powerplay, during the middle of a match, or at the death,” Griffin added.

Deepti Sharma said that it was always her goal to play in the WBBL.

“This is my first time [in the WBBL], so I’m excited,” she said.

“I’ve had offers before, but I couldn’t play at the time because at the time we had [an international] series. It’s a big thing for Indian women’s cricket that we have the opportunity to play in the WBBL. We have to express ourselves in the competition,” she added.

Sydney Thunder will start their title defence against the Adelaide Strikers on October 16.

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first published:September 26, 2021, 11:24 IST