Kaur, Mandhana, Sharma, Rodrigues, Verma signings for The Hundred confirmed

India openers Shafali Verma (l) and Smriti Mandhana. © BCCI

Teams have officially confirmed the signing of five Indian players – Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Jemimah Rodrigues and Shafali Verma – for The Hundred. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday (June 10).

As reported by Women’s CricZone earlier, swashbuckling opener Verma will replace Sophie Devine at Birmingham Phoenix after the New Zealand skipper opted out of the tournament. India’s T20I skipper Kaur will represent Machester Originals while her deputy Mandhana will turn up for Southern Brave. Sharma, who played for Western Storm in the now defunct Women’s Cricket Super League (WCSL), will join her Storm skipper Heather Knight at London Spirit and Jemimah Rodrigues has been signed by Northern Superchargers.

“It’s so good to finally be able to confirm the involvement of some of the superstars from the India team,” said Beth Barrett-Wild, head of The Hundred Women’s Competition. “They’re a hugely exciting group of players and they’ll bring a lot to the competition. I can’t wait for July 21, I can’t wait for the whole competition, and I can’t wait for fans to see these world-class players doing what they do best.”

The 32-year-old Kaur will be in action when Originals face Oval Invincibles in the opening match of the competition on July 21. She will be joined by her Lancashire teammates Kate Cross, Sophie Ecclestone and Alex Hartley at the Originals.

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“It’s very exciting that I’m going to get to play in the first ever game of The Hundred. It will be special to make history, especially with a women’s match at such a big ground. We’ve played in front of some large crowds in India and it’s always a great experience for the players,” Kaur said.

Mandhana will form a potent opening partnership with Danielle Wyatt for Brave while Verma will have the company of Ellyse Perry at Phoenix.

Other than Devine, Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes has also opted out of the tournament owing to COVID-19 restrictions. There has been reports about chances of more Australian players opting out of the tournament, but there hasn’t been any official development regarding this.