Harmanpreet Kaur to become first Indian woman cricketer to play for Women’s Big Bash League

All-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur has become the first Indian women cricketer to be recruited by a foreign Twenty20 franchise as she signed up with Sydney Thunder, the reigning Women’s Big Bash League champions, for the second edition of the Australian T20 league.This is the first official signing since the BCCI cleared the women cricketers to participate in overseas leagues earlier this month. On the final day of the Indian board’s working committee meeting in Dharamsala today, the BCCI president Anurag Thakur confirmed that Harmanpreet has been signed by the Thunder.

Harmanpreet, India’s vice-captain, had received offer from three teams, including the Sydney Sixers, the runners-up in the inaugural season but she zeroed in on the Thunder. “I think we saw in the Indian team some very dynamic players, including Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur, I think these two stood out,” Alex Blackwell, the Thunder captain, had said earlier. “We have a pretty solid team… but we have an opportunity to bring another overseas players in and we’ll be looking to spend that spot wisely. Hopefully we’ll get one of the best players around the world.”

India women’s team had recorded their first-ever bilateral series win in Australia, winning the T20 series 2-1 ahead of the World T20, and Harmanpreet contributed a 31-ball 46 in a historic chase in the series opener.

The 27-year-old was also a standout performer during India’s disappointing World T20 campaign, where she scored 89 runs and took seven wickets in four outings.