Harmanpreet extends deal with Sydney Thunder

India women T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur has signed a two-year contract extension with Women’s Big Bash League side Sydney Thunder.

Harmanpreet was the Thunder’s second top run-scorer last season with 296 runs at an average of 59.2 and a strike rate of 117 while she also took six wickets with her off-spin but the team failed to reach the play-offs.

The India batter’s hitting prowess again came to the fore at the women’s World Cup in June when she smashed an unbeaten 171 off 115 balls in the semi-final against Australia to her side to final where they lost to hosts England.

Thunder general manager Lee Germon said: “Following the Women’s World Cup, Harmanpreet was the hottest property in cricket.

“She showed during that tournament, and through her performances with the Thunder, that she is one of, if not the most, destructive batters in the game at the moment.”

Thunder coach Jo Broadbent told adelaidenow.com.au: “She’s a match-winner and that’s what you need in T20, you need those match-winners. She’s got that really good blend of technique and power, she really works on the basics.

“She’s just incredible and such a great person to have. Her bat does most of the talking.

“Normally in the women’s (T20) game if you get your run rate up to eight runs an over, you rarely see players explode and get over 10 runs an over and do that for four or five overs. She can do that.

“If we had to get 10 or 12 runs an over and she was in the middle, you’d almost be backing her to win a game.”

The Women’s Big Bash League starts on 9 December with the final scheduled for 4 February 2018.

Thunder squad: Alex Blackwell (capt), Sam Bates, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Maisy Gibson, Lisa Griffith, Rachael Haynes, Rachel Priest, Naomi Stalenberg, Harmanpreet Kaur, Rachel Trenaman, Hannah Trethewy, Belinda Vakarewa.