The Hundred: Shafali Verma remains on radar of franchises
India Women players Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Jemimah Rodrigues are set to feature in the inaugural edition of The Hundred. The four players are likely to complete their contract formalities soon. Meanwhile, the ICC's top-ranked T20I batter Shafali Verma, is also on the radar of at least one team as a potential replacement player in the event of any last-minute withdrawals.
It is understood that Kaur, Mandhana, Sharma, and Rodrigues are likely to formalize the deals as the BCCI has sent the No-Objection Certificates (NOCs) for each of them to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). The ECB will will announce the signings soon.
Young Indian opener Shafali Verma doesn't have a contract in The Hundred at the moment. However, she is believed to be on the radar of at least one team. The 17-year-old remains the front-runner to fill a spot in case any other overseas player is unavailable. Shafali is presently the number one batter in the ICC Women's T20I Rankings.
Shafali was leading run-scorer in India Women's recent T20I series against South Africa. She amassed 130 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 156.63. The right-handed batter also played a key role Down Under as India reached the finale of 2020 Women's T20 World Cup. Shafali tallied 163 runs at a strike rate of 158.25, the highest among players with 100 or more runs.
The likes of Kaur, Mandhana, Deepti and Rodrigues will represent Manchester Originals, Southern Brave, London Spirit and Northern Superchargers respectively in The Hundred. Notably, the four players also completed the Indian contingent at the now-defunct Kia Super League (KSL), the ECB's domestic T20 tournament that made way for the Women's Hundred. Meanwhile, no male Indian players will be involved in the tournament's inaugural season.
As many as 20 of the 24 overseas signings for the Women's Hundred have already been announced. A total of 11 Australian players have signed up, in addition to the five South Africans, two New Zealanders, and two West Indies players. The 100-ball tournament will kick off with the women's match between the Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals in London.