Harmanpreet, Rodrigues to play for Melbourne Renegades in WBBL

The 32-year-old Harmanpreet had a previous stint with Sydney Thunder but it will be a debut season for the 21-year-old Rodrigues in the WBBL, beginning October 14.

India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur and young batter Jemimah Rodrigues will play for Melbourne Renegades in the upcoming Women’s Big Bash League, the event organisers announced on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old Harmanpreet had a previous stint with Sydney Thunder but it will be a debut season for the 21-year-old Rodrigues in the WBBL, beginning October 14.

Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav have been signed up by Sydney Sixers.

“It means a lot (to be back). The WBBL has given me a lot of experience and a great platform where I can perform and execute,” Harmanpreet was quoted as saying on the team’s website.

“Coming back with a new team, the Renegades. I hope this season will be really great for us. It’s my first season with them and I definitely want to make an impact.

Rodrigues said she is entering into WBBL in good form.

“For me, the main goal over here will be just to pull back and play cricket, play some good cricket and enjoy what I’m doing. I know when I do that and when I’m in that headspace, I’m able to give it my best,” Rodrigues was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

Rodrigues was not part of the Indian team that lost the ODI series 1-2 to hosts Australia but she had a decent stint in the recent Hundred series where she scored 249 runs in seven innings for the Northern Superchargers.

“The goal is whatever happens, I want to give it my 100 per cent each and every time I’m on the field, and hopefully (we can win) the cup for the Renegades.

“I’m super excited, I’m really looking forward to it and there’s so much that I’m going to learn, I’m sure about that,” she said.

Renegades coach Simon Helmot praised Harmanpreet’s talent. She is currently nursing a thumb injury, which forced her to miss India’s ODI engagement with Australia earlier this month.

“Harmanpreet’s record at international level over the past decade speaks for itself,” Helmot said.

“She’s a match-winner and can take the game away from the opposition in a heartbeat. We also see Harmanpreet being an important addition for our group with her experience and leadership.”

The coach was impressed with the way Rodrigues played in ‘The Hundred’.

“Jemimah is an immensely talented young player, who is already making her mark on the world stage at 21,” the coach said.

“She was superb recently in The Hundred over in the UK. She’s is a dynamic player who can score quickly and to all parts of the ground.”

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