Reigning Women’s Big Bash League champions Sydney Thunder have confirmed their interest in luring India star Harmanpreet Kaur to the club for this summer’s title defence.
Harmanpreet has become hot property since the Board of Control for Cricket in India gave the green light for Indian players to play in the WBBL.
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Thunder general manager Nick Cummins said while media reports claiming the 27-year-old had already signed were premature, he confirmed the club had her firmly in its sights.
"We have been in discussions with Harmanpreet about joining Sydney Thunder for WBBL02," Cummins said.
"At the moment no contract has been signed by the player or the club."
BCCI president Anurag Thakur had indicated Harmanpreet was bound for Spotless Stadium when speaking to media following the final day of the BCCI’s working committee meeting in Dharamshala on Friday.
Harmanpreet, who made her debut for India in 2009, captured the attention of WBBL recruiters when she blasted her team to victory against the world champion Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars in Adelaide on Australia Day.
Her 31-ball 46 helped her team chase down Australia’s 5-140 with ease, setting in motion an historic first-ever series win over the hosts.
Adding to that her handy medium pace – which saw her snare seven wickets in four matches during the World T20 earlier this year - makes Harmanpreet is one of the most sought-after Indians ahead of WBBL|02, alongside ever-reliable veteran Jhulan Goswami, rising batting star Smriti Mandhana and captain Mithali Raj.
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When speaking to cricket.com.au last month, Sydney Thunder captain Alex Blackwell said her team was extremely keen to fill one of their international slots with an Indian player.
"I think we saw in the Indian team some very dynamic players, including Veda Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur, I think these two stood out,” Blackwell told cricket.com.au.
"And of course Jhulan Goswami, she’s a legend of the game and someone I’d love to see in the Women’s Big Bash. She’s a great team person and I’ve certainly enjoyed many battles with her over the years.
"We have a pretty solid team and we’re hoping our list stays consistent after a successful first year, but we have an opportunity to bring another overseas players in and we’ll be looking to spend that spot wisely.
"Hopefully we’ll get one of the best players around the world. We’re the champion team and hopefully a team people want to play for, I’m looking forward to seeing who that person might be."