India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur, vice-captain Smriti Mandhana and rising star Jemimah Rodrigues are all likely to miss upcoming edition of the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia.
The trio will be busy with national commitments as India's tour of Caribbean coincides with the WBBL, thereby hampering their participation, claimed a report in the ESPNcricinfo.
According to the report, the Indian side is tentatively slated to fly out on 23 October for a month long tour that is after they complete their three-match ODI series on 15 October against South Africa in Surat. The WBBL runs from 18 October to 8 December.
Apart from the scheduling, another concern for team management would be managing the workload of players.
With India to tour Australia in January, which includes a tri-series involving England and the hosts before the T20 World Cup, which will be played Down Under in February-March, it is understandable that management would want players to remain fresh.
“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 of cricket operations, Saba Karim was quoted in the report. “In this case, there’s an international series to be played, so that will automatically be on top of their list of priorities.”
With Indian cricketers expected to not feature in the WBBL, Harmanpreet, who has represented Sydney Thunder since 2016-17, isn't likely to receive a a contract extension. However, the Indian T20I captain was approached by the Melbourne Stars, while Mandhana who plied her trade for the Hobart Hurricanes is unlikely to be a part of the set up for the second season after having debuted for Brisbane Heat in 2016-17.
Rodrigues, who played her maiden Super League in England representing the Yorkshire Diamonds, was yet to receive a contract in the WBBL. She was slated to get a contract from one of the franchises, the report claims. The teenage star had a stellar season in England's T20 league, finishing as the second highest run-scorer.
All three will not be part of the first standalone WBBL, which in its previous four seasons ran along side the Men's Big Bash League.
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