Harmanpreet, Mandhana, Rodrigues set to miss WBBL

The WBBL is likely to clash with India’s tour of the West Indies, leaving the players with a very limited window towards the end of the T20 tournament.

Harmanpreet and Mandhana have been part of the WBBL since the 2016-17.   -  V.V. Krishnan

India’s Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues are likely to miss the first standalone Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) set to be played from October 18 to December 8.

The WBBL is likely to clash with India’s tour of the West Indies, leaving the players with a very limited window towards the end of what will be the fifth season of the WBBL.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the Indian team is tentatively slated to depart for the Caribbean Islands on October 23 for a month-long tour.

The Indian team, which is currently playing five-match T20I series against South Africa, will also play three ODIs against the Proteas, with the last match scheduled to be played on October 14.

As per the report, the players were keen to be fresh for India’s tour of Australia next year which will feature a tri-series involving England — from January 31 to February 12 — ahead of the Women’s T20 World Cup to be held there in February-March.

“The BCCI doesn’t discourage any of our women’s players from taking part in overseas leagues as long as their participation (in those tournaments) doesn’t clash with their national duties,” BCCI’s general manager (cricket operations) Saba Karim said. “In this case, there’s an international series to be played, so that will automatically be on top of their list of priorities.”

WBBL franchise Sydney Thunder, because of the scheduling, did not offer a contract extension to Harmanpreet, who has been in its line-up since 2016-17. The India’s T20I captain was also approached by the Melbourne Stars.

Meanwhile, Mandhana who was contracted with the Hobart Hurricanes, was set to continue for a second consecutive edition. She had earlier been part of the Brisbane Heat in 2016-17.

Nineteen-year-old Rodrigues, who has been on the radar of at least two teams in the WBBL because of her exploits in the shorter formats of the game, is yet to receive a contract.