No Indian cricketer will be a part of the Women’s Big Bash League this year. Star Indian cricketers Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues were expected to participate in the T20 tournament in Australia but India will tour West Indies during the same time which will make the WBBL participation unlikely.
India tour of West Indies falls on the same dates – October 18 to December 8. The Indian team, which is currently taking on South Africa at home in a T20 International series, will play its last match against the Proteas on October 14, before departing for the Caribbean on October 23 for a month, ESPNcricinfo reported.
The Indian players don’t want to increase their workload with the WBBL and are keen to remain fresh for the all-important tour of Australia in January next year. The tour will be followed by the T20 World Cup which will be played Down Under in February-March.
“The BCCI doesn’t discourage any of our women’s players from taking part in overseas leagues as long as their participation [in those tournaments] doesn’t clash with their national duties,” BCCI’s general manager [cricket operations] Saba Karim was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “In this case, there’s an international series to be played, so that will automatically be on top of their list of priorities.”
India’s T20I skipper Kaur, who has been a part of the Sydney Thunder since 2016-17, has not been given a contract extension due to her unavailability. Mandhana, who has played for the Brisbane heat in 2016-17, will not be able to play a second successive season for the Hobart Hurricanes. Rodrigues, who was in stellar form in the England’s Super League and the T20 Challenge at home in May, won’t be making her WBBL debut this year.
This will be the first standalone season of the WBBL. In the four seasons of the tournament before this, it would run alongside the men’s league. Kaur, Mandhana and Rodrigues would most-likely have participated if it weren’t for scheduling reasons.