Melbourne: Spinner Poonam Yadav became Friday the eighth Indian cricketer to sign for the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). She has joined Brisbane Heat for the upcoming season. The 30-year-old diminutive India wrist spinner joined the Brisbane side to fill the spot left by the withdrawal of New Zealand star Amelia Kerr. Poonam Yadav is in the Indian squad for the ongoing multi-format tour of Australia. She played in two of the three ODIs against Australia but did not find a place in the playing XI in the subsequent lone pink ball Test.
Yadav has made a habit of wreaking havoc against Australian batters, including her 4 for 19 in last year’s T20 World Cup opener. Brisbane Heat will hope she can do the same in the WBBL.
Yadav joins the WBBL after Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav (both Sixers), Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma (both Thunder), Richa Ghosh (Hurricanes), Jemimah Rodrigues and Harmanpreet Kaur (both Renegades). She rounds out the Heat’s overseas contingent, joining South Africans Anneke Bosch and Nadine de Klerk.
“When we lost Amelia Kerr, we were confident we could back our group to give a good account of themselves regardless but adding Poonam’s skill and her competitiveness is a huge result,” Heat coach Ashley Noffke was quoted as saying in ‘cricket.Com.Au’.
“She is a different type of bowler to Melie, and we are clear on how we can best utilise her talents in our line-up. Jess Jonassen has played against her and as captain she is very keen to work alongside Yadav now that she is with the Heat,” Noffke added.
Yadav has played one Test, 54 ODIs and 71 T20Is since making her debut in 2013.
Kerr withdrew from the Big Bash last month. She cited the need to continue focusing on her mental health after she had already chosen to sit out of New Zealand’s tour of England.
Yadav’s signing is the final international spot in the competition to be confirmed. Brisbane Heat have now completed their 15-player roster, making just four changes to the group that made the semifinals last season.