WBBL: Sydney Thunder rope in Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma
Indian women's cricket team duo of Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma has been signed as replacement players by Sydney Thunder for the upcoming season of the Women's Big Bash League. These two players have been signed after Englishwomen Heather Knight and Tammy Beaumont were deemed unavailable for the upcoming edition of the WBBL. Here are further details.
Deepti is set to feature for the first time in the WBBL. Notably, Deepti performed well for the London Spirits in the recently-concluded inaugural season of The Hundred. She claimed 10 wickets at an economy rate of 5.26. The 24-year-old has 56 T20I wickets for Team India at 21.26. Deepti will look to make her presence felt for Sydney Thunder.
Mandhana had previously represented the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL. Across two seasons, she racked up 407 runs in 23 innings at just 19.38. She slammed two fifties with the highest score of 69. Mandhana has a strike rate of 129.62 in the WBBL. Overall in T20Is, she has 1,901 runs at 26.04.
Sydney Thunder coach Trevor Griffin praised Deepti and called her a star. Griffin said Deepti offers a lot with the bat and highlighted her skills of bowling well across the powerplay, middle, and death overs. He also feels that Mandhana has tremendous ability to take everything in her stride, who keeps her game really simple.
As per Cricbuzz, Deepti said that the WBBL experience will prove to be a critical step forward. "This is my first time [in the WBBL], so I'm excited," Sharma said. She added that despite having offers earlier, she couldn't play in the WBBL "I've had offers before, but I couldn't play at the time because at the time we had [an international] series."