Shafali Verma, a young batting sensation and left-arm spinner Radha Yadav have been snapped up by Sydney Sixers ahead of the upcoming WBBL, the club announced on Monday (September 27). The announcement comes a day after Sydney Thunder confirmed the signings of Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma.
Shafali Verma, India’s youngest debutant in international cricket, put up stunning performances on Australian shores last year at the T20 World Cup and sits on top of the ICC rankings in the format.
Shafali Verma Bags Her Maiden WBBL Deal
At the back of her T20 exploits, the teenager also played for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred recently. On Sunday (September 26), she starred in India’s famous win over Australia with a mature half-century. With her stocks constantly on the rise, Shafali Verma has now bagged her maiden WBBL deal. On Sunday, she scored a maiden ODI half-century with a mature knock of 56 as India upset the mighty Australian team, snapping a 26-game win streak.
“This is a very good opportunity for me and my goal is to just enjoy myself, to make some new friends and have fun,” Verma said. “I want to play WBBL and back myself and just believe in myself.”
Head Coach Ben Sawyer, who worked with Shafali Verma in England in the recently-concluded inaugural season of the Hundred, lavished praises on the youngster labeling her fearless.
“She hits to different areas of the field and plays shots that are different to the other three girls in that top four,” he said. “The experience I had with her in Birmingham was that she wants to learn, she wants to get better and she wants to grow as a player and a person.”
At just 17, Shafali Verma, who in 2019 became India’s youngest ever to play women’s T20 internationals, is widely considered the best batting talent in the world and currently sits atop the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings. Shafali Verma is expected to form a lethal combination with Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry, and Ash Gardner at the top of the order for the Sixers, giving the team the most exciting top four in WBBL history.
Radha Yadav Will Be Making Her Maiden WBBL Appearance
Radha Yadav, who is in India’s squad for the upcoming T20Is against Australia, will also be making her maiden appearance in the WBBL.
“Lots of young Indian girls want to play in the WBBL,” Yadav said. “It is a very good standard and I am so happy to be able to play for the Sixers this year.”
Ben Sawyer was delighted with the 21-year-old spinner’s acquisition as well considering the variety she lends to the bowling attack.
“Radha brings a skill set that we have never had at the Sixers and that’s very exciting,” he said. “I think a left-arm ortho bowler is so important in the WBBL and having one who is world-class is such a great opportunity for this team. She has also batted in the middle of the order for India so she is handy with the bat too.”
Not to be overshadowed by her teenage teammate, left-arm orthodox spinner Radha Yadav who is placed 11th on the ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings arrives at the Sydney Sixers with an outstanding resume of her own. Now aged 21, Radha Yadav was one of the discoveries of the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20, finishing as the joint-leading wicket-taker for India in the tournament, with eight dismissals in five matches.
The Sydney Sixers begin their WBBL 07 campaign in the season opener against the Melbourne Stars on Thursday, October 14 at Blundstone Arena in Hobart.