Smriti Mandhana has been picked up by Western Storm for the third edition of the Women's Cricket Super League, the franchise announced on Thursday 14 June.
If all goes to plan, Mandhana, 21, will become the first Indian to take part in the league, which begins on 22 July and will run till 27 August. Harmanpreet Kaur had been signed by Surrey Stars last year, but had to withdraw because of an injury.
“I am very excited to be playing for the Kia Super League champions,” said Mandhana. “To be the first Indian player to appear in the tournament is a real honour and I hope that I can help Western Storm to more success.”
Mandhana has had an exceptional 2018 so far. She started off the year with 84 and 135 in the first two one-day internationals against South Africa and has followed those up with a solid home season.
The Indian opener so far has 826 runs to her name in 40 Twenty20 Internationals with a highest score of 76. She has also scored 1464 runs in 41 ODIs at 37.53 with a highest score of 135.
Western Storm are the current holders of the league title. Riding largely on a 36-ball 72 by Rachel Priest, the hard-hitting New Zealander, they had defeated Southern Vipers by seven wickets in the final last year. The franchise has retained Priest for this season as well, making Mandhana their second overseas signing.
“We are really excited that Smriti will be joining us. She is one of the brightest young talents in the game at the moment,” Trevor Griffin, the Western Storm coach, said. “Although she is still young, she has a great deal of experience of the game at the highest level and we believe that she will prove to be an excellent signing.”
Western Storm start their campaign on the opening day of the league against Yorkshire Diamonds.