Sydney Sixers have confirmed that the Indian cricketers Shafali Verma and Radha Yadav will play for the team in the upcoming season of Women’s Big Bash League. Verma is expected to open the innings alongside Alyssa Healy which means the longstanding pair of Healy and Ellyse Perry will be broken.
Verma, who is currently a part of the Indian team which is playing a multi-format series in Australia, will be joined by left-arm spinner Radha Yadav for the upcoming WBBL starting from October 14. Radha Yadav, however, is not a part of the current squad currently playing in Australia. According to the reports published by ESPNcricinfo in May, Verma had signed a two-year contract with the Sixers. The announcement comes a day after Sydney Thunder confirmed signing Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma. Verma, who is coming off her maiden ODI half-century in the third ODI against Australia on Sunday, said she was excited about the opportunity to play in the WBBL.
"This is a very good opportunity for me and my goal is to just enjoy myself, to make some new friends and have fun. I want to play WBBL and back myself and just believe in myself," Verma said, reported Cricinfo.
Verma will once again play under Sixers coach Ben Sawyer, who coached her at Birmingham Pheonix in The Hundred earlier this year.
"Shafali is very impressive. She's such a talent and she's fearless. 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," said Ben Sawyer.
Sawyer was delighted to add a left-arm orthodox to the Sixers mix given they already have three right-arm off-spinners in Ash Gardner, Nicole Bolton, and Erin Burns.
"Radha brings a skill set that we have never had at the Sixers and that's very exciting," Sawyer said. "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," Sawyer concluded.
The two-time champions, Sydney Sixers will begin their WBBL campaign against Melbourne Stars in the opening game of the tournament n October 14.