Hamanpreet Kaur has finally become the first Indian woman cricketer to be signed by an overseas Twenty20 franchise after signing a deal with Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) champions Sydney Thunder for the 2016-17 season.

The official Twitter account of Sydney Thunders confirmed the news.

“We are delighted to secure a player of the calibre of Harmanpreet,” Nick Cummins, Sydney Thunder’s general manager, said on Saturday. “She was on the top of our target list, and we are very pleased that the BCCI has released her to play in Australia.

“Sydney Thunder prides itself on being an innovator in Australian cricket, so it is a real fillip for the club to have signed the first Indian international to play Big Bash cricket in Australia.”

Harmanpreet,  captured the attention  when she helped India to defeat the world champion Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars in Adelaide on Australia Day. The all-rounder’s quickfire innings of 46 from only 31 balls helped India to win a historic series against the hosts.

A consistent performer for India, Harmanpreet once again made her case strong after having a good outing in this year’s World T-20 where she impressed everyone with her bowling by taking seven wickets.

Talking to the Daily Telegraph, Harmanpreet said that the watershed moment will help the women’s cricket to flourish in the country.

“I have watched clips online because this tournament is a huge platform for all women cricketers all around the world,” she told The Daily Telegraph on Sunday (July 31). “I hope there will be a huge push for women’s cricket in India after this. When an Indian cricketer is going to play in foreign leagues, there would definitely be an increase in support for women’s cricket in India.”

The all-rounder also expressed her excitement over the prospect of playing alongside Southern Stars vice-captain Alex Blackwell and to be around the Thunder’s franchise.

“Playing with the best players against the best players is always a great feeling,” Kaur said. “I would definitely learn a lot of things from them all. I have always respected them, watching them playing.”

The Indian vice-captain has represented the national team in 118 internationals across all formats.

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