Australia captain Meg Lanning has joined the list of stars set to feature in next week's historic Indian Premier League women’s exhibition match in Mumbai.
Lanning's name was unveiled in the full team lists announced by the Board of Control for Cricket in India on Thursday, joining national teammates Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy, Megan Schutt and Beth Mooney for the one-off clash at Wankhede Stadium.
New Zealand quick Lea Tahuhu has also joined the contingent of international players and 16 locals for the Women’s T20 Challenge match, which will be played ahead of the first men's IPL qualifier on Tuesday, May 22.
A total of 10 internationals will join local players in two XIs skippered by India stars Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, with England pair Danielle Wyatt and Danielle Hazell and New Zealand guns Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine also involved.
Lanning will play for Kaur's team, the IPL Supernovas, alongside Schutt and Perry, while Mooney and Healy will line up for Mandhana's IPL Trailblazers.
The news of the match, which is a tentative step towards a women’s IPL – something the BCCI hopes to introduce in the next two to three years – has been warmly received by Australian players.
"Really looking forward to heading back to Mumbai early next week, another awesome development for women’s cricket," Australia allrounder Perry tweeted on Tuesday.
The inclusion of Lanning is the latest positive step in her recovery from the shoulder surgery that sidelined her for seven months last year.
The 26-year-old returned during Australia’s tour of India in March, finding her best form towards the back end of the tournament, including a blazing 88 from 45 deliveries in the T20I tri-series final win over England.
The Australian quintet will hope to continue the success they found on the subcontinent earlier this year, when Schutt became the first Australian to take a T20I hattrick and Healy scored her maiden international century.
In addition to their T20I tri-series win, the Southern Stars whitewashed their hosts in a three-match ODI series.
The women’s game has rapidly grown in popularity in India since the national team's appearance in last year’s Women’s World Cup final at Lord’s.
The T20 Challenge will be broadcast live around the world, with Fox Sports in Australia confirming they will televise the match on Fox Sports More from 6.20pm AEST on May 22.
IPL Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Taniya Bhatia (wk), Sophie Devine (NZ), Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Veda Krishnamurthy, Meg Lanning (Aus), Mona Meshram, Anuja Patil, Ellyse Perry (Aus), Mithali Raj, Megan Schutt (Aus), Pooja Vastrakar, Danielle Wyatt (Eng)
IPL Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (c), Suzie Bates (NZ), Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Danielle Hazell (Eng), Alyssa Healy (wk) (Aus), Dayalan Hemalatha, Beth Mooney (Aus), Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Shikha Pandey, Lea Tahuhu (NZ), Poonam Yadav