Shafali Verma has become the latest Indian cricketer to earn a Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) contract. The Indian women's cricket team opener will play for the Sydney Sixers in the next edition of the league.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo on Thursday (May 13), Shafali's father Sanjeev Verma confirmed the move.
"Yes, Shafali has signed the contract with Sydney Sixers, and given she is a minor, I have had to give my consent, too. I would like to thank the BCCI and HCA for giving my daughter the permission and support to play in the WBBL. Without the guidance of the HCA, whatever Shafali is doing in her career wouldn't have been possible," said Sanjeev Verma.
Shafali Verma will likely open the Sydney Sixers Women innings with World No. 5 T20I batswoman Alyssa Healy. It will be an exciting opportunity for the 17-year-old to sharpen her skills by playing alongside some of the best women cricketers.
Shafali Verma is not the only Indian cricketer to have earned her maiden WBBL deal
Apart from Shafali Verma, two other Indian women's cricket team stars will reportedly feature in WBBL 2021. As per ESPNCricinfo, 21-year-old left-arm spinner Radha Yadav will soon finalize a deal with one of the two Sydney-based teams.
According to the report, another Indian women's team star could also make her WBBL debut, with the 2021 season set to see the largest Indian contingent in the tournament's history.
"All players who have been or will be approached by Big Bash teams will be given all necessary permissions to participate in the WBBL this season," a BCCI official was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
The Women's Big Bash League will likely take place in October-November 2021. It will be interesting to see how the young Indian players fare in the competition.