She has finally signed the deal and created history. All-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur has become the country's first woman cricketer to sign a deal with an overseas Twenty20 franchise. The 27 year-old will play for Sydney Thunder in the Women's Big Bash League for the season on 2016-2017.
“We are delighted to secure a player of the calibre of Harmanpreet,” said Sydney Thunder General Manager Nick Cummins in a statement on Sydneythunder.com.
This confirmation comes in soon after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) passed a landmark decision to allow its female cricketers to participate in foreign leagues. Earlier in June, BCCI president Anurag Thakur announced that the Indian vice-captain had successfully completed negotiations with the Australian club. Thakur’s tweet from Sunday morning confirmed it finally –
Harmanpreet was already negotiating with Thunder, and was waiting a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Indian board. Reportedly, she had three teams to choose from, including the Sydney Sixers, the runners-up in the inaugural season, but the national team vice-captain zeroed in on Thunder.
Harmanpreet is obliged to get this opportunity which will no doubt bring women's cricket in India into limelight. "When an Indian cricketer is going to play in foreign leagues, there would definitely be an increase in support for women's cricket in India. I hope there will be a huge push for women's cricket in India after this," she stated, as reported by India Today.
Kaur has played 118 times for India across all formats, and caught global attention during India’s tour of Australia earlier in the year when she scored 46 runs off 31 balls to help her team chase down Australia’s 140 in Adelaide on Australia Day.
“The WBBL is a great platform for women's cricketers, being the first player from my country to sign a contract for a BBL club is one of my best moments. My aim is to serve my team to win the WBBL title for the second time in a row. Playing with the best players against the best players is always a great feeling. I would definitely learn a lot of things from them all,” she added, reported by Firstpost.
The all-rounder is all set for her debut in December in the WBBL. We hope she shines on this international platform as well!