Indians in overseas leagues: From Harmanpreet Kaur to Shreyanka Patil

From Harmanpreet Kaur hitting outrageous six in WBBL to Smriti Mandhana's consistency in England domestic competitions to Richa Ghosh's debut season

Shivangi Sinha
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Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur

Smriti Mandhana (L) and Harmanpreet Kaur (R) during The Hundred 2023 © Getty Images

Women’s cricket is growing from strength-to-strength with each passing competition. One of the significant milestones in this growth was the arrival of franchise cricket. It started with the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) back in 2015.

The concept of franchise cricket has awakened a new set of viewers to the game. Fusion of players coming from all around the world and playing together was always going to be engrossing. India women cricketers have been on a meteoric rise in popularity in recent years and the viewership figures of the inaugural Women’s Premier League (WPL) this year was another proof of that. But the history of Indian players in franchise cricket goes way back to 2016.

Women’s CricZone takes a look at the history of Indian stars featuring in overseas league

Harmanpreet Kaur

Even before she captained Mumbai Indians to the inaugural winners of the WPL in March, Harmanpreet Kaur has been a regular name in franchise cricket.

In 2016, Harmanpreet became the first Indian to play in an overseas league when she signed with the Sydney Thunder. In her debut season, she scored 296 runs at a majestic average of almost 60. Her major WBBL stint came when she represented Melbourne Renegades and won the Player of the tournament in 2021.

Apart from WBBL, Harmanpreet has also played in the now defunct Women’s Cricket Super League (WCSL popularly known as KSL) with Lancashire Thunder. In a virtual knock out she played a blazing knock of 74 off 44 deliveries against the Northern Diamonds and kept the play-offs hopes alive for her team.

Harmanpreet made her debut for Trent Rockets in the latest edition of The Hundred during the opening fixture of 2023 having previously represented Manchester Originals in season one.

Best Season – Melbourne Renegades (WBBL 2021)



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Smriti Mandhana

The star southpaw Smriti Mandhana is one of the biggest names in the women’s game now. She is known for the elegant way she plays. Mandhana became the most expensive player in WPL when Royal Challengers Bangalore bought her for 3.4 crore INR.

Mandhana represented Brisbane Heat in the WBBL 2016 but her journey was cut short after she ruptured her ACL. In the fourth season, she was a part of Hobart Hurricanes and played for Sydney Thunder in the 2021 edition. She scored an unbeaten 114 off 64 balls which is the highest individual score in the tournament’s history.

Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana during WBBL07 © Getty Images
Mandhana became the first player from India to play in the WCSL in 2018 and had a record season with Western Storm where she accumulated runs for fun which included a blistering knock of 52 not out from just 19 deliveries. Since 2021 she has been playing for Southern Brave in The Hundred and on the back of great outings in two back-to-back seasons, she was retained by the management for a third season.

Best Season – Western Storms (WCSL 2018)



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ALSO READ: Smriti Mandhana, Mary Taylor headline The Hundred 2023 opener

Jemimah Rodrigues

Jemimah Rodrigues has been one of the livewires - like she has always been - for Delhi Capitals in the inaugural edition of the WPL. But she already had some franchise experience coming into the Indian version.

The stylish right hander played for Yorkshire Diamonds in WCSL in 2019 which was her debut season on foreign soil. Rodrigues’ vivacious unbeaten knock of 112 off 58 deliveries helped her side to chase down an enormous target of 185 against Southern Vipers.

From the inaugural edition, Rodrigues has been representing Northern Superchargers in The Hundred and it was no surprise when they called her up as an injury replacement for Heather Graham ahead of this season. Her gritty unbeaten knock of 92 off 43 came when her side was on 19 for 4 against Welsh Fire while chasing a moderate target of 131 in 2021. She started the second year as well but had to pull out because of an injury.

Jemimah Rodrigues
Jemimah Rodrigues in Northern Superchargers © Getty Images
In WBBL, Rodrigues played for both the Melbourne based teams - Renegades and Stars - and has scored 377 runs across 18 innings as of now.

Best Season – Yorkshire Diamonds (KSL 2019)



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Deepti Sharma

Deepti Sharma is the first Indian to take hundred wickets in T20Is and still holds the record of highest individual score by an Indian in ODI which came back in 2017 when she scored 188 against Ireland.

Deepti played for eventual champions Western Storm in WCSL 2019. In the final, the allrounder dismissed Danielle Wyatt and while chasing 173, shared an unbeaten partnership of 71 with the captain Heather Knight. In The Hundred, she debuted  for London Spirit in 2021 and then was part of Birmingham Phoenix in the second edition although she didn’t feature in any of the matches.

Her first stint at the WBBL came when she represented the Sydney Thunder. Her best figures of 3 for 13 came against Hobart Hurricanes which included the wicket of Mignon du Preez.

Ahead of the WPL, the UP Warriorz picked Deepti for a whopping 2.6 crore INR. She had an indifferent season after managing to score only 90 runs at a strike rate of 83.33 even as she took nine wickets from as many matches.

Best season – Sydney Thunder (2021)



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Shafali Verma

Shafali Verma took the world by storm as a teenage sensation at the T20 World Cup 2020 and it was just a matter of time for her to debut in a foreign league.

Shafali debuted for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred 2021 and didn’t have the greatest of seasons. But while chasing 128 against Welsh Fire, the big-hitter scored an unbeaten 76 off 42 balls at a smashing strike rate of 181. She and Evelyn Jones shared an unbroken opening stand of 131.

Shafali’s first season at the WBBL came in 2021 when she played for Ellyse Perry led Sydney Sixers. And it took her just a few minutes to make her mark when she ran out Annabel Sutherland with a direct hit that hit the bullseye at the non-striking end. But she couldn’t replicate her T20 World Cup form in the season.

Shafali is part of the Delhi Capitals in WPL and in her true style scored runs at a strike rate at 185.29 in the first edition in March this year.

Best Season – Birmingham Phoenix (2021)



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Richa Ghosh

19-year-old Richa Ghosh was in hot striking form when she was picked up by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for 1.9 crore INR ahead of WPL 2023.

A powerful striker of the ball, Ghosh has scored 563 runs for India in T20Is at a strike rate of 133.41. She made her franchise debut when she played for Hobart Hurricanes in the WBBL in 2021. She didn’t have the greatest of seasons despite showing some early promise.

After her omission from the Bangladesh tour, Ghosh has earned herself a ticket to the Asian Games for India. But in between all this, she got her maiden call up to tThe Hundred where she will play under her RCB teammate Heather Knight.

Poonam Yadav

Poonam Yadav was a major contributor in India’s road to the final of T20 World Cup 2020 as she lit up the opening fixture against the hosts Australia with a four-wicket haul.

Poonam has 98 wickets to her name in T20Is although she finds herself out of the national reckoning currently. On the back of stellar performances in the international arena, she got selected to play for Brisbane Heat during WBBL07. Her best figures came against Sydney Thunder when she picked up 3 for 17, which comprised the wickets of her India compatriot Smriti Mandhana, Phoebe Litchfield and Corinne Hall.

Poonam picked up ten wickets from 13 matches at an average of 28.10 and an economy rate of 6.63 for Heat. Since then she hasn’t featured in overseas leagues and she was part of Delhi Capitals in the inaugural WPL.

Radha Yadav

Left-arm spinner Radaha Yadav also plays for Delhi Capitals in the WPL. She owns a peculiar record of taking at least one wicket in 26 consecutive T20Is.

The 23-year-old was a part of Sydney Sixers in the seventh season of WBBL where her personal best bowling came against the eventual champions Perth Scorchers where she took the wickets of Australian opener Beth Mooney and allrounder Heather Graham.

When her team was crumbling at 79 for 9 in the WPL final, Radha joined hands with Shikha Pandey and scored an unbeaten 27 off 12 and took her team to 131. And then she provided the Delhi side with their first breakthrough by sending Yastika Bhatia back even though Capitals went on to lose the match.

Radha picked up nine wickets from 12 matches for Sixers at an average of 25.11 and an economy of 6.81 during her lone overseas stint.

Pooja Vastrakar, who played for Brisbane Heat in WBBL08 in 2022 and Veda Krishnamurthy, who represented Hobart Hurricanes back in 2017 are the other Indians to participate in overseas leagues. Neither of them had much success in their lone stints with foreign teams.

Apart from these players, uncapped RCB allrounder Shreyanka Patil has been picked up by Guyana Amazon Warriors for the second edition of the Women’s Caribbean Premier League (WCPL)  that’s scheduled to start from August 31. Shreyanka was the player of the tournament in the recently concluded Emerging Teams Asia Cup.