Star India batter Harmanpreet Kaur has extended her contract with Women’s Big Bash League side Sydney Thunder for a further two years, the club announced on Friday (January 24). The 28-year-old Harmanpreet had signed for the Thunder ahead of last season, making her the first Indian cricketer, male or female, to play in Australia’s marquee T20 tournament.
Harmanpreet is one of the most sought after players in women’s cricket, accentuated by her blistering 171 in the World Cup semifinal against Australia earlier this year. Incidentally, a shoulder injury suffered before the Lord’s final ruled her out of the Women’s Super League, where she was slated to turn out for the Surrey Stars.
“Following the Women’s World Cup, Harmanpreet was the hottest property in cricket,” Sydney Thunder General Manager Lee Germon said. “She showed during that tournament and through her performances with the Thunder, that she is one of, if not the most, destructive batters in the game at the moment. She will bring her match winning qualities to our side and I am sure our fans will enjoy watching her play once again in Thunder colours.”
“She’s a match-winner and that’s what you need in T20, you need those match-winners,” Thunder coach Jo Broadbent told adelaidenow.com.au. “She’s got that really good blend of technique and power, she really works on the basics. She’s just incredible and such a great person to have. Her bat does most of the talking.
“Normally in the women’s (T20) game if you get your run rate up to eight runs an over, you rarely see players explode and get over 10 runs an over and do that for four or five overs. She can do that. If we had to get 10 or 12 runs an over and she was in the middle, you’d almost be backing her to win a game.”
The Indian all-rounder had a fine maiden stint with the BBL in 2016-17, scoring 296 runs and picking up six scalps. Thunder failed to make the semifinals but Harmanpreet’s efforts saw her declared as Thunder’s Player of the Tournament for her consistent performances.