The Women’s T20 Challenge is just a week away and the squads for three teams that will feature in the competition were announced on May 16. Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity will be the three participating teams led by Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma respectively. Squads of 16 have been announced and each squad will see four overseas players.
The 12 overseas players are: Alana King, Deandra Dottin, Sophie Ecclestone, Sune Luus, Sophia Dunkley, Sharmin Akhter, Salma Khatun, Hayley Matthews, Ayabonga Khaka, Laura Wolvaardt, Kate Cross and Natthakan Chantam.
There are three players from England and South Africa each, two players from West Indies and Bangladesh each and one player from Australia and Thailand each.
Supernovas: Alana King, Deandra Dottin, Sophie Ecclestone, Sune Luus
Trailblazers: Sophia Dunkley, Sharmin Akhter, Salma Khatun, Hayley Matthews
Velocity: Ayabonga Khaka, Laura Wolvaardt, Kate Cross, Natthakan Chantam
Player profile of overseas players
Alana King (Australia):
The wily leg spinner from Australia who made her international debut in all three formats this year was one of the stars in the team’s seventh World Cup title win a month back. She featured in all the nine matches and picked up 12 wickets. This will be her first trip to India. With a couple of T20Is under her belt, King would look to make the most of this opportunity.
Deandra Dottin (West Indies):
The star all-rounder from West Indies is a hard-hitting opening bat and more than handy right arm seamer. She is a seasoned campaigner having played 124 T20Is, scored 2681 runs and picked up 61 wickets. She has been playing international cricket since 2008. Recently, she featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and muscled 289 runs and picked up two wickets in seven matches. She registered one century and a couple of half-centuries.
Sophie Ecclestone (England):
She is the world number one T20I and ODI bowler. The tall left arm spinner has played 50 T20Is and has struck with 68 wickets in 49 innings, including the best of 4-18. Apart from her lethal bowling, she is more than a handy lower order batter. Recently, she featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and bagged 17 wickets in seven matches to become the leading wicket-taker in the competition.
Sune Luus (South Africa):
She is one of the best all-rounders in the South Africa team. She has been around at the international level since 2012. She has featured in 83 T20Is. The right handed batter has mustered 866 runs, including four half-centuries and has accounted for 47 wickets, including two wicket-hauls, bowling right arm leg spin. Recently, she featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and scored 163 runs and claimed two wickets in seven matches, including one half century.
Sophia Dunkley (England):
She is a good right handed middle order batter from England. She has different gears and can pace her innings well. She has the experience of playing 23 T20Is for England in which she has mustered 159 runs in 13 innings. She can also roll her arm over to bowl leg spin. Recently, she featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and scored 263 runs and picked up six wickets in seven matches. She registered the highest score in an innings of 123 not out in the final match of the competition. She batted at the top of the order in that tournament.
Sharmin Akhter (Bangladesh):
She is a right handed opening batter from Bangladesh, who has played 14 T20Is, since her international debut in 2011. In the recently concluded ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, she was impressive at the top of the order. She has more than 600 international runs to her name, including three half-centuries.
Salma Khatun (Bangladesh):
The experienced off spinner from Bangladesh has been around at the international level since 2011. With 78 T20Is under her belt and 71 wickets to her name, she is a seasoned campaigner. Apart from her bowling, she is a steady lower order bat and has the highest score of 49 not out in T20Is. She has played in the Women’s T20 Challenge for Trailblazers in the past.
Hayley Matthews (West Indies):
This young and talented West Indian all-rounder has featured in 61 T20Is since 2014. This attacking right-handed opening batter has muscled over 1000 T20I runs, including a century and four half-centuries. With the ball, the right arm off spinner has 58 wickets to her name, including two four wicket hauls. Apart from her batting and bowling, she is an electric fielder. Recently, she featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and scored 153 runs, including two half-centuries, and claimed five wickets in as many matches.
Ayabonga Khaka (South Africa):
She is a right arm speedster from South Africa, who has featured in 36 T20Is and picked up 32 wickets, including the best of 4-23. She has been around at the international level since 2012. She is known for her consistency with her lines and lengths. Recently, she featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and struck with nine wickets in seven matches to become the second highest wicket-taker in the competition.
Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa):
She is a right-handed top-order batter who plays for South Africa. She has a healthy strike rate of 115 in 33 T20Is. She has been around at the international level since 2016. Apart from playing cricket for the Proteas, she plays franchise cricket for Northern Superchargers in the Hundred and Adelaide Strikers in the WBBL. Recently, she featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and scored 186 runs in seven matches, including a couple of half-centuries.
Kate Cross (England):
She is a bowling all-rounder from England who has featured in 13 T20Is. The right arm seamer has claimed 11 wickets at an economy rate of under seven runs per over. Apart from her bowling, she is more than a handy lower-order batter. She can use the long handle at will. She also has captaincy experience having led Manchester Originals in the Hundred last year.
Natthakan Chantam (Thailand):
The dashing right-handed batter from Thailand has the experience of playing in 41 T20Is. She has registered 816 runs, including the best of 88 not out. She is an attacking and a consistent bat at the top of the order. Recently, she has featured in the Fairbreak Global Invitational T20 tournament and scored 163 runs in six matches, including one-half century.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.