Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav to play for Sydney Sixers in WBBL07
This will be the first time the pair would be making their appearances in the WBBL. Verma is the youngest player to play a T20I for India and also the youngest to score a T20I fifty for them. She scored a crucial 56 off 91 balls in the third ODI that helped India end Australia’s run of 26 successive ODI wins.
“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.”
Verma made her Test and ODI debuts in the tour to England, thereby becoming the youngest Indian – male or female – to play for the team in all formats. The 17-year-old had played for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred, where Sixers head coach Ben Sawyers was in charge.
“Shafali is very impressive. She’s such a talent and she’s fearless,” said Sawyer.
“She hits to different areas of the field and plays shots that are different to the other three girls in that top four. 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.”
Young Yadav, on the other hand, will play in an overseas league for the first time. The left-arm spinner had a run of 27 successive T20Is where she had picked at least a wicket, a streak that came to an end in the second T20I against England.
“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.”
While the top order of Sixers looks daunting with Verma’s addition to the line-up that already had Alyssa Healy, Ellyse Perry and Ashleigh Gardner, Yadav’s all-round aspect will be crucial for the team in pink lower down the order.
“Radha brings a skillset that we have never had at the Sixers and that’s very exciting,” said Sawyer.
“I think a left-arm orthodox 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.”
Squad so far: Ellyse Perry (c), Jade Allen, Nicole Bolton, Maitlan Brown, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Emma Hughes, Matilda Lugg, Angela Reakes, Hayley Silver-Holmes, Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav