Harmanpreet Kaur is the vice-captain of India Women's team    Getty Images
Harmanpreet Kaur is the vice-captain of India Women’s team Getty Images

Sydney Thunders have confirmed the signing of India Women’s cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur for the 2016-17 season of Women’s Big Bash League. In doing so, Harmanpreet becomes the first Women’s cricketer from India to have signed for an overseas T20 franchise. The 27-year-old has represented her national side in two Tests, 55 One-Day Internationals (ODI) and 61 T20 Internationals (T20I). The vice-captain of India reportedly had three offers on cards, before she decided to choose Thunders. She will join West Indies Women’s captain Stephanie Taylor as the second overseas player in the side. ALSO READ: Mithali, Harmanpreet, Jhulan’s way to WBBL despite BCCI’s reluctance

Speaking about signing with Thunders, Harmanpreet was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying, “It’s a great feeling. The WBBL is a great platform for women’s cricketers. Being the first player from my country to sign a contract for a BBL club is one of my best moments.”

“I was looking at a franchise where I would have opportunities to showcase my talent. That’s why I was keen on Sydney Thunder. My aim is to serve my team to win the WBBL title for the second time in a row. Playing with the best players against the best players is always a great feeling. I would definitely learn a lot of things from them all.”

Sydney Thunders general manager, Nick Cummins, also spoke about his excitement after signing Harmanpreet. “We are delighted to secure a player of the calibre of Harmanpreet. 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.”