In the latest blow to The Hundred's Southern Brave, Indian batter Smriti Mandhana has confirmed her withdrawal from the league ahead of the final in order to spend some time with her family before the start of the Australia series. According to reports, Mandhana will be replaced by Ireland's Gaby Lewis for the final of the tournament. Mandhana said in a statement that she would love to continue with the team until the final, but she hasn't seen her family in a long time and wants to spend some time with them before heading to Australia.
"I would love to be able to stay with the team until the final but we've been away from home for a long time with more tours ahead. I'll be watching the team at Lord's and hoping they can continue our good form. It's been a fantastic competition to be involved in and I've really enjoyed it," Mandhana said in her statement.
Mandhana's last inning for the Southern Brave was amazing to watch as she helped her side cruise to victory with a 52-ball 78 run-knock against Welsh Fire. Mandhana's knock helped Southern Brave reach the maiden final of the first season of The Hundred. Mandhana has scored 167 runs at a strike rate of 133.60 in the seven games that she played for the Southern Brave in The Hundred this season. Mandhana was crucial in Southern Brave's outstanding show in the inaugural edition of the league. Mandhana's exit right before the final will deal a great blow to the franchise.
Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was also ruled out of the league early in the season. Kaur was part of Manchester Originals in The Hundred and withdrew after suffering a quad injury. Manchester Originals had said they would not replace Harmanpreet Kaur. The Indian batter played three innings for the Originals where she scored 104 runs at a strike rate of 109.47. Other Indians who are part of The Hundred are Shafali Verma (Birmingham Phoenix), Deepti Sharma (London Spirit), and Jemimah Rodrigues (Northern Superchargers).