Brisbane Heat have been dealt a major blow, with star international Smriti Mandhana ruled out of the remainder of the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League season after injuring her knee last weekend.
Mandhana injured her knee while bowling during the Heat’s loss to the Melbourne Renegades at Allan Border Field on Sunday, with scans revealing a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
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WBBL Heat coach Andy Richards expressed his sympathy for the left-hander, who is one of two India players appearing in WBBL|02 alongside Sydney Thunder’s Harmanpreet Kaur.
"It’s a real shame as Smriti had settled well into the group and was starting to play some good cricket,’’ Richard said.
"No-one likes to see players injured and certainly our thoughts will be with her as she undergoes whatever treatment and rehabilitation is recommended for her,’’ he said
Queensland Cricket and Cricket Australia have been in touch with Mandhana’s physiotherapist in India and the Board of Control of Cricket in India to provide them details of the injury and to discuss treatment plans.
The injury is a blow to India, who are preparing to play in the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament, starting in Sri Lanka from February 7.
They need to secure a top-four finish in the eight-team tournament to lock in a place in the World Cup, to be played in England in June this year.
"Smriti will be given the best possible care while she is with us and we will work closely with everyone involved to ensure her treatment and recovery,’’ Richards said.
However the Heat could be bolstered by the return of big-hitting West Indian allrounder Deandra Dottin.
Dottin has resumed training with the Heat after suffering a factured cheekbone in a fielding accident earlier in the tournament and could make her return for the final round games on Friday and Saturday at the Gabba against the Adelaide Strikers.
Friday’s match at the Gabba is part of a double-header with the Heat playing the Melbourne Renegades with the match officially sold out.