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15 Aug 2021
India Women opener Smriti Mandhana and all-rounder Deepti Sharma have joined Sydney Thunder for the Women’s Big Bash League 2021 which starts on October 14. The two Indians are currently in Australia itself, playing for the national team in a three-match each ODI and T20I series and a lone pink-ball Test.
Sydney Thunder coach, Trevor Griffin described the signing of Mandhana as a great deal. Griffin has worked with Smriti and Deepti in England with the Western Storm.
“She’s world-class. Smriti is an opening batter who has the tremendous ability to take everything in her stride. I’m delighted to have her on board, and I have no doubt that she’ll prove to be a great addition to Thunder,” Griffin was quoted as saying in a press release by the club.
Smriti on the other hand said, “Playing in overseas leagues gives you a lot of experience, especially in the T20 format. Then, of course, you exchange so much experience with each other... with all the players from over the world... so you get to learn a lot.”
Along with the 25-year-old Smriti, her compatriot Deepti has also been signed. Talking about the 24-year-old, the Thunder coach said, “She offers a lot with the bat – Deepti is a match-winner – and she also has the talent to bowl in the powerplay, during the middle of a match, or at the death.”
“Deepti is a great addition to the Thunder, and I have no doubt she’ll go a long way to helping us in this year’s competition,” he added.
For Deepti, who played in the Hundred Women recently, playing for the first time in WBBL is another great opportunity. “This is my first time [in the WBBL], so I’m excited. I’ve had offers before, but I couldn’t play at the time because at the time we had [an international] series. It’s a big thing for Indian women’s cricket that we have the opportunity to play in the WBBL. We have to express ourselves in the competition,” said Deepti.
Sydney Thunder WBBL Squad
Rachael Haynes (C), Samantha Bates, Hannah Darlington, Corinne Hall, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Smriti Mandhana (IND), Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Deepti Sharma (IND), Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson