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WBBL side Brisbane Heat sign India spinner Poonam Yadav for upcoming season

 
Brisbane, Oct 8 (IANS) Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) side Brisbane Heat have signed up leg-spinner Poonam Yadav ahead of this month's tournament, making her the eighth Indian cricketer to secure a WBBL contract.

The experienced international will become a part of Brisbane Heat at the conclusion of the Australia-India series currently underway, with Yadav in contention to play the remaining T20 Internationals at Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium on October 9 and 10.

She will link with the Heat squad in Hobart early next week, with the Brisbane-based players having travelled to Tasmania on Friday to begin their preparations.

Yadav is no stranger to Australian audiences, with her three-wicket burst in the opening game of the ICC 2020 T20 World Cup against Australia seeing her finish with 4/19 as India swept to an upset win over the host nation and tournament favourites.

Australia later took revenge in the final played before a record crowd at the MCG, with Yadav bowling gamely against a rampant Australian batting performance. Yadav, 30, is currently the eighth ranked bowler in the ICC T20 International rankings and ninth in the ICC ODI bowling rankings.

She is closing in on 100 T20 International wickets, sitting on 98 wickets and if successful in the remaining matches of the series, would become the first Indian woman to take 100 wickets in her T20I career.

She has taken four wickets in an innings on three occasions in T20I and four times in ODI matches, and boasts an enviable career economy rate of 5.70. Yadav has played one Test to date, 54 ODIs and 71 T20 Internationals.

It will be her first stint in the WBBL, and she becomes the second Indian player to link with the Heat after Smriti Mandhana in 2016.

Yadav will fill the third international spot for the Heat left vacant last month when Amelia Kerr told the club she was unable to take up her WBBL contract as she prioritises her mental health and well-being.

Heat coach Ashley Noffke said that, "It's very exciting to welcome a player of her class and experience into our group. We know there is a lot of upside to Poonam coming on board this summer.

"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. 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 her now she is with the Heat.

"We think Poonam will also be very good for the younger players in the squad -- she has demonstrated her composure on the biggest stage in the world at the MCG and played cricket at a high level in a number of countries. We're really keen for her to share those insights with our players during the tournament and will urge the group to learn as much as they can," he said.

--IANS

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