Sydney Thunder has extended the contract of Indian all-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur for a further two seasons.
Kaur joined the Thunder last year, making history as the BBL’s first Indian player, male or female.
The 28 year old made her debut in the opening match of the season, finishing unbeaten on 47 from 28 balls including two sixes.
Kaur was also a member of the recent Indian Women’s World Cup squad, with her knock of 171 not out in the semi-final against Australia cementing India’s spot in the final.
“It’s been almost like a dream come true, we as a unit never thought we would make it to the finals and then going so close to winning. It’s been a great experience for the side, things have drastically changed for women’s cricket in India,” said Kaur.
“People are recognising us, they come for our autographs and pictures - it’s such a good feeling to get that respect from the country which is mad for cricket.”
Fortunately Kaur’s Thunder team mates and Australian players Alex Blackwell and Rachel Haynes didn’t hold a grudge.
“Alex gave me her jersey for that memorable innings of 171 against them and congratulated me. Rachael congratulated me and said she was looking forward to seeing me back in the Women’s Big Bash League,” said Kaur.
Sydney Thunder General Manager Lee Germon said he was excited to see Kaur back at the Thunder.
“Following the Women’s World Cup, Harmanpreet was the hottest property in cricket," said Germon.
"She showed during that tournament and through her performances with the Thunder, that she is one of, if not the most, destructive batters in the game at the moment.
“She will bring her match winning qualities to our side and I am sure our fans will enjoy watching her play once again in Thunder colours.”
Sydney Thunder open their WBBL|03 campaign against the Melbourne Renegades on 9 December at North Sydney Oval.
WBBL|03 Squad: Alex Blackwell (c), Sam Bates, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffiths, Rachael Haynes, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Harmanpreet Kaur, Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Trethewy
Head Coach: Jo Broadbent
Assistant Coach: Dom Thornely