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India captain Harmanpreet Kaur withdraws from WBBL due to back injury

Melbourne: India captain Harmanpreet Kaur on Wednesday withdrew from participating in the ongoing Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) for the Melbourne Renegades due to back injury.

Harmanpreet, 33, had earlier missed the Renegades’ opening two matches against Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat due to leading India to their seventh Women’s Asia Cup victory in Sylhet, Bangladesh.

England batter Eve Jones, who was signed as an initial replacement for Harmanpreet, will now be signed on as an overseas replacement player by the Renegades.

“Harmanpreet was fantastic for us last season and we were looking forward to having her as part of our squad again this year, but unfortunately she has been ruled out through injury. Eve will stay on with our squad for at least the next couple of matches, as we work through the best strategy for our squad for the remainder of the tournament,” said James Rosengarten, Melbourne Renegades general manager.

In the 2021 season of the WBBL, Harmanpreet was a crucial cog in the wheel for the Renegades, scoring 406 runs at an average of 58 and strike-rate of 130.96 in 12 innings, including three fifties, to earn the ‘Player of the Tournament’ honours.

With her off-spin, she picked 15 wickets at an average of 20.86 and economy rate of 7.45 as she finished in top-10 of leading run-scorers and wicket-takers of the season. Harmanpreet had become the third overseas player to be named WBBL’s player of the tournament after New Zealand duo of captain Sophie Devine (who got the honour twice) and former all-rounder Amy Satterthwaite.

Meanwhile, India middle-order batter Jemimah Rodrigues has joined the Melbourne Stars after topping the runs charts of the Women’s Asia Cup in a huge boost to the club. Her teammate, fast bowling all-rounder Pooja Vastrakar, is also on her way to the WBBL and join her club Brisbane Heat.

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