All-rounder Pooja Vastrakar has been signed by the Brisbane Heat for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), becoming the latest Indian player to join the competition. She becomes Heat’s second overseas signing for the upcoming season after New Zealand's Amelia Kerr.
Vastrakar, 22, made a big impact during India's tour of Australia last year. She was also impressive in the 50-over World Cup that was held in New Zealand earlier in the year. Vastrakar scored 156 runs in seven matches in the ICC event. On the bowling front, she picked up 10 wickets at an average of 18.30 with her medium pace.
Poonam Yadav represented the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL last season, while Smriti Mandhana played for the Heat as well as the Sydney Thunder in the past. Harmanpreet Kaur, meanwhile, was adjudged the 'Player of the Tournament' for her impressive performances for the Melbourne Renegades last season.
Vastrakar is part of India women’s Commonwealth Games squad. She will, however, be unavailable for the opening game against Australia on Friday (July 29), having tested positive for COVID-19.
“An outstanding athlete” - Brisbane Heat coach on Pooja Vastrakar
Reacting to the Indian all-rounder joining the team for the upcoming WBBL, Brisbane Heat coach Ashley Noffke described her as an outstanding athlete. Noffke said in an official statement:
"Pooja is an outstanding athlete. She bowls with sharp pace, can find the boundary with the bat down the order and is an absolute jet in the field. We're very pleased to welcome her to the WBBL and are excited about the experience we can offer her.”
The statement added:
“She's certainly a player of the future for India and one that we expect can make a difference for the Heat this summer."
Brisbane Heat WBBL squad: Jess Jonassen (c), Amelia Kerr, Pooja Vastrakar, Nicola Hancock, Grace Harris, Laura Harris, Mikayla Hinkley, Ellie Johnston, Charli Knott, Georgia Redmayne, Courtney Sippel, Georgia Voll.
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