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Updated February 22nd, 2024 at 19:28 IST

WPL 2024: RCB squad analysis, take a look at the depth of Indian and overseas stars

RCB Captain, Smriti Mandhana will lead the side which features a number of talented players under the guidance of experienced head coach Luke Williams.

RCB's women's team
RCB's women's team | Image:BCCI
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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are ready to roar in the upcoming Women’s Premier League 2024, scheduled to begin on Friday at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. 

Bolstered by a balanced squad, RCB will look to start their campaign at the home ground on a positive note. RCB Captain, Smriti Mandhana will lead the side which features a number of talented players under the guidance of experienced head coach Luke Williams, who is an acclaimed women’s cricket coach.

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Let's have a look at the squad of the RCB for the Women’s Premier League 2024 and their stories.

Smriti Mandhana 

Bought for ₹3.40 Crore

Batting Style: Left Hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right Hand Offbreak

Role: Opening Batter

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The RCB Captain, Smriti Mandhana, has been an enigma for top bowlers around the globe. The left-handed batter has always taken a bold approach to cricket since her international debut in 2013 and hit her first international century in 2016. She featured in the ICC Women's Team of the Year in 2016 and has continued her stellar performance ever since.

Smriti Mandhana played a crucial role in taking the Indian Women's Cricket team to the final of the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 in England & Wales. She continued her terrific performance in 2018, winning the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for the best female cricketer of the year. The batter displayed her mettle in T20Is as well, playing some remarkable innings beyond her performances in ODI cricket. She has struck the second-most fifties in Women's T20 Internationals and has also played for some top teams outside India.

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Smriti Mandhana was a key member of the Indian Women's Cricket team during their reach to the final of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia. She also played brilliantly in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, securing a silver medal for India. Serving as the Vice-Captain for the Indian squad during the 2023 Asian Games, she contributed to their triumphant gold medal victory. With ample experience in her arsenal, the Indian batter aims to leverage her seasoned skills to deliver a magnificent performance for the RCB women's team in the upcoming Women’s Premier League (WPL) 2024.

Shreyanka Patil 

Bought for ₹10 Lacs

Batting Style: Right-hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right arm off-break

Role: Bowling All-Rounder

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Shreyanka is considered one of the best-emerging cricketers in domestic cricket. In a match in the Karnataka Cricket State Association (KSCA) Women’s League in January 2020, she took 6 wickets for 4 runs for Rajajinagar Cricketers against Swastik Union Cricket Club. She finished the 2022-23 BCCI’s Senior Women's ODI Tournament as the second-highest wicket-taker with 20 wickets.

Her father used to run a cricket academy, and she would go there on weekends to play, although she didn't get to play in the nets. Her dad now manages a sports store. She played a lot of hanging ball and fell in love with the sport.

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At 17, she battled a serious back injury and didn't play cricket for 2 years, but she made a strong comeback. She won the 2022 Cric-heroes award for the best spell of the year due to her bowling performance of 9 wickets for 24 runs.

She enjoys dancing in her leisure time and wants to show off her dancing skills to her teammates. She loves eating chocolate fudge, and her favorite cricketer is Virat Kohli. Shreyanka Patil signed her first sponsorship deal with a supplements and vitamins brand (Fast Up). This year, Shreyanka Patil was selected for the Indian women's team in the T20 series against England.

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Indrani Roy

Bought for ₹10 Lacs

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Batting Style: Right Hand Bat

Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium Fast

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Role: Wicketkeeper Batter

Born on September 5, 1997, Indrani Roy embarked on her cricket journey at the age of 15, drawing inspiration from her idol MS Dhoni. Initially playing for the Bengal under-19 team for four years, she later made a move to Jharkhand in 2014. A significant breakthrough came in the 2019–20 Women's Senior One Day Trophy, where Roy showcased her prowess by scoring her inaugural century in a one-day match, amassing an unbeaten 132 runs. This match-winning century played a pivotal role in propelling Jharkhand into the knockout phase of the tournament.

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In a notable achievement in May 2021, Roy received her maiden call-up to the India women's cricket team for the tour of England. She earned a spot in India's squad for the one-off Test match and featured in the squads for the Women's One Day International (WODI) and Women's Twenty20 International (WT20I) matches. Indrani Roy has been a part of RCB since their debut season and continues to contribute to their success in the WPL 2024 season as well.

Renuka Singh 

Bought for ₹1.50 Crore

Batting Style: Right Hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium Fast 

Role: Bowler

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India's ace medium-fast bowler, Renuka Singh, has been in phenomenal form in recent times, taking over the baton from fast bowling legend Jhulan Goswami. However, her journey hasn't always been smooth, as she had to struggle significantly before making her debut for the Indian Women's Cricket Team in 2021 against Australia.

Renuka Singh once borrowed kits to play cricket, and now she will showcase her skills for one of the best cricket franchises in the world, RCB. The bowler's consistently enthralling performances for the senior national team also made her one of the top buys for RCB ahead of the Women’s Premier League (WPL). She started her journey in a village named Parsa in Himachal Pradesh but never stopped believing in herself, even when facing some of the world's top batters.

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The medium-fast bowler played a key role in India's silver medal-winning campaign in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. She took numerous wickets in the Women's Asia Cup last year as well and now aims to bring her bold approach with the ball to the WPL 2024 with RCB.

Richa Ghosh 

Bought for ₹1.90 Crore

Batting Style: Right Hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium

Role: Wicketkeeper Batter
 
Taking inspiration from her idol MS Dhoni, Richa Ghosh had decided early that she wanted to become a Wicketkeeper-Batter and help the Indian Women’s Cricket Team achieve new heights in international cricket. Still, in her early cricketing days, the young player has already turned a lot of heads in international cricket with her aggressive approach and magnificent wicket keeping skills.

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Richa’s journey has been filled with hardships as she struggled a lot due to a lack of money in her initial days. However, it didn’t affect her monster mentality as she finally made her debut for the Indian Women's Cricket Team in 2020. Her exploits on the field in the last few years prompted RCB to make her one of the top buys in the women's team.

The youngster was named in India’s squad for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup. Her chance came in the Women’s Asia Cup in 2022, when she smashed some of the top bowlers of the world as India clinched the title for the seventh time. Richa Ghosh, then, went on to play in the 2023 ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup and hit some crucial runs in India's winning campaign. She also served as the wicketkeeper-batter for the Indian squad during the 2023 Asian Games, contributing to their triumphant gold medal victory.

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Sabbineni Meghana 

Bought for ₹30 Lacs

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Batting Style: Right-hand Bat

Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium 

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Role: Batter

Born on June 7, 1996, Sabbineni Meghana, hails from Andhra, and is a seasoned right-handed top-order batter. Her cricketing journey has been marked by significant achievements, having been a crucial member of the Indian national team that secured victory in the Women's T20 Asia Cup both in 2016 and the recent 2022 edition. Meghana's prowess with the bat was notably on display in the 2021-22 Women's Senior One Day Trophy, where she emerged as the highest run-scorer, amassing an impressive total of 388 runs, including a century and two half-centuries.

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Her stellar performances earned her a spot in the Indian squad for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, further solidifying her position as a key contributor to the national team. With a combination of experience and consistent batting prowess, Sabbineni Meghana stands as a valuable asset in Indian women's cricket, leaving a lasting impact on the field.

Ekta Bisht

Bought for ₹60 Lacs

Batting Style: Left-hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Slow Left Arm Orthodox

Role: Bowler

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Ekta Bisht, renowned who became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in W-T20Is, distinguishes herself as a skilled left-arm spinner with a classical approach. Notably, she is the inaugural representative from Uttarakhand to play for the national team. Ekta excels in enticing batsmen with her loop and guile, posing a formidable challenge, particularly on spinner-friendly pitches. Debuting internationally in 2011, she swiftly became an integral part of the Indian bowling unit, consistently contributing to the team's success.

Known for her preference to bowl with a cap on, Ekta’s cricketing journey faced financial hurdles, as her father, a former Army personnel, opened a tea stall to support her aspirations. Despite initial financial crises, Ekta’s cricketing prowess, especially after national selection, played a pivotal role in turning the tide for her family. With a tally of over 100 international wickets, Ekta holds a senior position in the current Indian squad. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, she was honoured with the Khel Ratna award in 2017. Notably, Ekta remains the sole Indian women's cricketer to achieve an international hat-trick.

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Shubha Sateesh 

Bought for ₹10 Lacs

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Batting Style: Left-hand Bat

Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium Fast

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Role: All Rounder

Hailing from Bangalore, Karnataka, Shubha Sateesh is a promising 24-year-old cricketer who brings a valuable blend of skills to the cricketing arena. The Karnataka all-rounder recently got her Team India call up. Her versatility is evident as she proficiently wields the bat and showcases prowess as a right-arm medium-fast bowler.

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A true home-grown talent, Shubha’s left-handed batting style adds a dynamic dimension to her game, while her right-arm medium-fast bowling provides a strategic edge to her team. With a skill set that spans both disciplines, Shubha stands out as an all-round contributor, capable of making a significant impact on the field. As she continues to develop and refine her abilities, her potential as a well-rounded player makes her an exciting prospect for the future of cricket.

Simran Bahadur 

Bought for ₹30 Lacs

Batting Style: Left-hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium 

Role: Bowling All Rounder

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Simran Bahadur, born on December 13, 1999, is a talented Indian cricketer representing the Indian Women’s National cricket team. A left-handed batswoman and a right-arm medium-pace bowler, Simran developed her passion for sports early in life, participating in athletic meets during her school days. Raised in a supportive family, she played cricket with neighbourhood boys in her youth. At 16, Simran joined an academy in Punjabi Bagh, training under Sharvan Kumar.

In 2017, Simran successfully made it to the Delhi U-19 team and later earned spots in the U-23 and senior teams. Her breakthrough came in 2018 during the Challengers Trophy, and she gained recognition after a standout performance in a domestic match against Andhra Pradesh. The following year, she contributed significantly to the Indian team's victory in the Asian Cricket Council Women’s Emerging Teams Cup.

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Simran's journey continued in 2020 when she was selected for the Indian squad in the T20 Quadrangular Series in Patna. In 2021, she received her first call-up to the Indian cricket team for the Home Series against South Africa, making her WT20I debut in the same year. Throughout her career, Simran's dedication and all-round skills have solidified her place as a rising star in Indian women's cricket.

Shraddha Pokharkar

Bought for ₹10 Lacs

Batting Style: Right hand bat

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Bowling Style: Right arm medium

Role: All-rounder

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A talented all-rounder Shraddha Pokharkar was part of RCB’s setup as a net bowler and has now found a spot in the team with her tremendous hard work and perseverance. She has also been a regular face in Maharashtra’s domestic setup and has given multiple match-winning performances for the team.

Shraddha Pokharkar has already showcased her skills in the Women’s T20 Challenge tournament where the all-rounder was the part of team Trailblazers. She played with Smriti Mandhana for the Trailblazers and will look to continue to perform well under her captaincy at the RCB.

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The all-rounder likes to bowl fast and started playing with a leather ball when she was 20 years old. However, pace comes naturally to her and has made her a perfect weapon to demolish any team's batting lineup. Shraddha used to play with a tennis ball and gave trials for Dilip Vengsarkar Cricket Academy in Pune in 2017 where she impressed Mohan Jadhav, who then became Pokharkar’s first coach and helped her to improve her skills in both departments.

Asha Shobana 

Bought for ₹10 Lacs

Batting Style: Right hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right arm Leg spinner

Role: Bowling all-rounder

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A leg spinner and a middle order batter, Asha Shobana started off her journey as a 13-year old when she played for Trivandrum and afterwards for the senior team.

She was propelled to play cricket in light of the innings that Sachin Tendulkar played against Australia going after Shane Warne in Sharjah in 1998.

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Her favourite cricketer is Stuart MacGill who also played as a right arm leg spinner and a right-hand batter. She comes from a humble background. Her father was a driver. Apart from cricket, she can do pencil sketching, digital drawing and can sing as well.

Disha Kasat 

Bought for ₹10 Lacs

Batting Style: Right hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right arm off-spinner

Role: Batting all-rounder

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A part time off-spinner and a top order batter, Disha started playing cricket when she was in 9th standard after having moved to Amravati from Vidarbha in 7th standard where she lived with her aunt.

In order to pursue cricket, she gave up on her dream of becoming a Chartered Accountant. Disha emerged as the top run getter in senior domestic T20 Trophy, 2022 where she scored 300 runs.

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She is additionally an incredible volleyball player and also loves to read books and go on treks.

Overseas Players

Ellyse Alexandra Perry 

Bought for ₹1.70 Crore

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Batting Style: Right Hand Bat

Bowling Style: Right Arm Fast Medium

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Role: All Rounder

A global cricketing icon, she has been the pillar for the Australian Women’s Cricket for more than two decades- Ellyse Perry became the youngest Australian ever to play international cricket when she debuted against New Zealand in July 2007, before her 17th birthday. 
Known as the run-machine for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash, she was Australia's leading wicket-taker at the Women's World T20 in the Caribbean. That included a Player-of-the-Match performance in the final, where her three wickets helped restrict New Zealand in a thrilling run chase.

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Chosen as the ICC Player of the decade in 2010, Perry also happens to be the only sportswomen from Australia to represent her country in the World Cup in two sports- both in Soccer and Cricket. Ellyse had an alluring prospect of a long-term career in soccer while she was playing for the Matildas before her call up to the national cricket team.
While she was representing Australia as part of the National Cricket team she also juggled up, representing the Sydney FC in the Women's League.
Perry's most significant batting performance in the 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup came as she played a pivotal role in securing a sixth T20 world championship for her team. This was achieved with a 19-run victory over South Africa in the final at Newlands Cricket Ground.

Sophie Devine 

Bought for ₹50 Lacs

Batting Style: Right Hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium

Role: All Rounder

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With the vision to represent her country at the Olympics, Sophie Devine had pursued Hockey at the highest level for the Black Sticks. However, cricketing opportunities landed at her door, right at a time when she was dropped from the Beijing Olympic Team in 2006. 

From a bowler who sometimes batted at No.11, Sophie Devine developed into one of the leading all-rounders and most destructive batters in the game. In New Zealand's opening match of the Women's T20 World Cup against Sri Lanka, Devine achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first cricketer, irrespective of gender, to record six consecutive scores of fifty or more in T20I cricket. Throughout the tournament, she emerged as the top run-scorer for New Zealand, amassing a total of 132 runs across four matches.

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The Kiwi was named both the ODI and T20 women’s Player of the Year for the 2017/18 season and she also hold the world record for scoring the fastest ever 50 in Women’s Twenty20 International (from 18 balls).    

In April 2022, the Birmingham Phoenix selected her for the 2022 season of The Hundred in England. Subsequently, in June 2022, Devine was appointed as the captain of the New Zealand cricket team for the tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

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While Sophie has always loved to explore various sports and just play for the love of the game, currently she has been exploring Rugby big time, who knows one may see her someday representing Australia at the Rugby World Cup too! 

Georgia Wareham

Bought for ₹40 Lacs

Batting Style: Right-hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Legbreak

Role: Bowler

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Inspired by the achievements of her fellow Victorian and Australian cricketer, Shane Warne, Wareham’s childhood dreams propelled her to become a T20 World Cup hero for her country. Securing her position as Australia’s premier female leg spinner in 2018, she played a pivotal role in the 2018 T20 World Cup victory in the Caribbean. In the final against England, Wareham showcased her skills by taking 2 for 11 and executing a crucial direct-hit run out.

Continuing her stellar performance, Wareham played a key role in Australia's T20 World Cup triumph on home soil two years later. During the pool stage, she made a significant impact by taking 3 for 17 against New Zealand, ensuring Australia's qualification for the semi-final.

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Hailing from Mortlake, located two-and-a-half hours west of Melbourne, Wareham's introduction to cricket took place in the backyard, where she played alongside her brother Jordan. Her cricket journey progressed through the ranks, initially playing men's cricket in the district, before transitioning into Victoria's elite pathway system. Eventually, she joined the Melbourne Renegades in the WBBL, further solidifying her reputation as a skilled and accomplished cricketer. Besides a lethal leggie, Wareham is an aggressive batter lower down the order.

Kate Cross

Bought for ₹30 Lacs

Batting Style: Right-hand Bat

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Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium Fast

Role: Bowler

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Kate Cross, a pace bowler, etched her name in history in 2006 as the first female cricketer welcomed into the Lancashire Academy. Her journey to her England debut was marked by perseverance, as the call-up came during the 2011 Australia tour, but she had to bide her time until October 2013 in the West Indies. Initially contemplating giving up cricket, Cross's patience paid off when, in her maiden international spell, she dismantled West Indies' top order, claiming 4 for 51 and earning the Player of the Match accolade.

The significance continued with her Test debut in early 2014 at Perth. Taking the new ball on the third evening, Cross showcased her pace and accuracy, dismissing three Australian top-order batsmen and significantly contributing to England's triumph. Her figures of 6 for 70 in the match reflected her impact.

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Daughter of FA Cup-winning footballer David Cross, Kate's cricket journey began at Heywood Cricket Club at the age of eight. Recognized as an England prospect since joining the Lancashire Women's senior side at 13, she made history in April 2015 as the first woman to play in the Central Lancashire League for Heywood, impressing with a haul of 3 for 19 and later achieving a career-best 8 for 47.

Graduating from Leeds University in May 2014, Cross secured one of the first full-time professional contracts for England In February 2022, Cross was honored with the ESPNcricinfo Women's Bowling Performance Award for 2021, acknowledging her remarkable achievement of taking figures of 5/34 against India. Subsequently, in April 2022, she joined the Manchester Originals for the 2022 season of The Hundred. Further, in July 2022, she earned a spot in England's squad for the cricket tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

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Sophie Molineux 

Bought for ₹30 Lacs

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Batting Style: Left-hand Bat

Bowling Style: Slow Left Arm Orthodox

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Role: Bowler

Sophie Molineux, born on January 17, 1998, in eastern Victoria, has been enchanted by the world of cricket since her early childhood.

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Sophie Molineux's cricket journey began with her father, who fostered her love for the game and coached her. Discovered by former Australia head coach John Harmer, she showcased early brilliance with a remarkable 140-run partnership with her father. A standout performer from a young age, Sophie's achievements include a seven-wicket haul for zero runs at 12 and a powerful 98 off 60 balls at 13. Her skills flourished under Harmer's guidance, making her a rising star in cricket.

Debuting in Australian Women’s T20 International Cricket in 2018 and subsequently in Women’s One Day International in October 2018, Sophie Molineux made a stellar impact. In the Women’s National Cricket League, she notched up 7 wickets at an average of 20.71. Despite setbacks, including a back fracture in 2014 and a dislocated shoulder in state training, she showcased resilience. Recognized as the Betty Wilson Young Player of the Year in 2017, Molineux's consistent excellence earned her six Player of the Match awards.

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In January 2020, Molineux was selected for Australia's squad in the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, held on home soil. In the final showdown at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, she contributed with a bowling performance of 1/21, aiding her team in a resounding 85-run victory over India and securing their second consecutive world championship.

Nadine de Klerk 

Batting Style: Right Hand Bat

Bowling Style: Right Arm Medium

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Role: All Rounder

Nadine de Klerk, who recently featured in the ICC Women's ODI Team of the Year, is a South African all-rounder and has played 48 T20Is so far, scoring 439 runs at an average of 27.43 and a strike rate of 100.45.  

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She has also demonstrated proficiency as a bowler, securing 35 wickets in WT20Is with an economy rate of 7.19. Her standout performance occurred in August 2022 during the Commonwealth Games match at Edgbaston in Birmingham, where she achieved her best figures of 3 wickets for 7 runs in 4 overs against Sri Lanka.

Klerk is known for her attacking batting and accurate bowling. She has also showcased her class in the Women's Big Bash League and The Hundred as well where she played for Brisbane Heat and Oval Invincibles, respectively. Making her international debut against India in the 2017 South Africa Quadrangular Series, she has played some crucial innings for her national team. 

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Nadine de Klerk played her first T20I match against India as well during Women's Twenty20 International cricket (WT20I) in 2018 and played recently in a T20I series in Australia.
 

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Published February 22nd, 2024 at 19:28 IST

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