RCB’s Heather Knight pulls out of WPL 2024, Nadine de Klerk announced a replacement

Royal Challengers Bangalore have selected Nadine de Klerk as the substitute for England captain Heather Knight in the upcoming TATA WPL 2024 season.

RCB's Heather Knight pulls out of WPL 2024, Nadine de Klerk announced replacement. PC: Getty
RCB’s Heather Knight pulls out of WPL 2024, Nadine de Klerk announced replacement. PC: Getty

The South African all-rounder, who specializes in medium-fast bowling and right-handed batting, brings experience from her participation in 30 ODIs and 46 T20Is.

As the clock ticks closer to the 2nd edition of the Women’s Premier League (WPL), amidst the buzz and hype, days out from the tournament, Royal Challengers Bangalore have shared a major development with their overseas star all-rounder set to miss the entire tournament, but have also named a promising all-rounder as a replacement.

England’s skipper Heather Knight is the latest to withdraw from the tournament, following teammate Lauren Bell’s decision. Both Knight and Bell’s choices stem from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) informing players that participating in the WPL would necessitate missing the 3-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series against New Zealand.

England’s tour of New Zealand kicks off on the 19th of March, 2024, just two days after the WPL final. Notably, there’s no update just yet on the participation of other English players and also Jon Lewis, head coach of both England and UP Warriorz’. The ECB’s statement provided clarity on last-minute withdrawals by English players, ‘When schedules were released, it became clear to be available and prepare optimally.

Despite the absence of Heather Knight, a key figure in the top order alongside Sophie Devine, Smriti Mandhana, and Ellyse Perry, the Challengers have addressed bigger concerns in lower-middle order and flexibility, with the signing of South African pace all-rounder Nadine de Klerk as her replacement.

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De Klerk’s inclusion could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the team, given her notable record in T20Is, which includes 419 runs and 36 wickets from 33 and 37 innings, respectively, with bests of 37* and 3/7. Her recent performance in Australia, where she scored a quickfire 48* off 24 balls and took 1/21 (3) in a practice game, underscores her potential impact. She further went on to return figures of 1/24 (4) and 1/25 (4) in the T20Is.

Royal Challengers Bangalore squad for WPL 2024:

Asha Shobana, Disha Kasat, Ellyse Perry, Indrani Roy, Kanika Ahuja, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil, Smriti Mandhana, Sophie Devine, Georgia Wareham, Kate Cross, Ekta Bisht, Shubha Satheesh, Sabbineni Meghana, Simran Bahadur, Sophie Molineux

Following a successful inaugural season, the eagerly awaited 2nd edition of WPL kicks off on the 23rd of February, 2024, with the final scheduled for the 17th of March. Unlike the previous season, this edition adopts a caravan model, featuring matches at Bangalore’s Chinnaswamy Stadium and Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium.

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