The squads for the Women’s T20 Challenge has been announced on Monday & what comes as a major surprise is the absence of Jhulan Goswami & Mithali Raj who had featured in the 2020 edition of the tournament despite having previously retired from T20Is. Thus, Deepti Sharma has replaced Mithali Raj as the Captain of the Velocity Squad for the upcoming season, while Sneh Rana who led Railways to their tenth T20 title earlier this month will be her deputy. On the other hand, Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana continue to be in charge of the Supernovas and Trailblazers teams.
Twelve overseas players—four players in each side—will feature in the Women’s T20 Challenge that returns after 2020. Players from Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies, Bangladesh, and Thailand will feature in the competition.
Alana King from Australia & Sophie Ecclestone from England will feature for the Supernovas team in the Women’s T20 Challenge. Notably, Ecclestone, the leading wicket-taker in the Women’s World Cup 2022 who last played for Trailblazers in 2020 will now turn up for the SuperNovas team. Her teammates, Sophia Dunkley, who hit a match-winning hundred in the final of the FairBreak Invitational Tournament on Sunday, and Kate Cross will also feature in the tournament.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Ayabonga Khaka returns to the tournament along with her counterparts Sune Luus and Laura Wolvaardt, who participated in the recently concluded Fairbreak Invitational Women’s T20 tournament held in Dubai.
Thailand’s Natthakan Chatham who featured for Trailblazers in the 2020 edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge will now play for the Velocity squad in the upcoming season of the Women’s league. Deandra Dottin & Hayley Matthews from the West Indies team & Salma Khatun & Sharmin Akhter from the Bangladesh team will also participate in the Women’s T20 Challenge.
Nagaland’s Kiran Navgire, who made a record unbeaten 162 during the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy last month and finished the tournament with the most runs, finds a spot in the Velocity squad while Maharashtra’s Aarti Kedar and Odisha’s Sujata Mallik who were the highest wicket-taker in the Senior Women’s T20 Trophy will also feature in the Women’s T20 league.
Players such as Veda Krishnamurthy, Anuja Patil, Nuzhat Parween, Kashvee Gautam, and Murali Anagha who played in the last edition of the Women’s T20 Challenge would miss out the upcoming edition of the league.
The Women’s T20 Challenge will be played from May 23 to May 28 in Pune. The tournament will be played in a round-robin format followed by the finals. The Women’s T20 Challenge will kickstart with Defending Champions Trailblazers taking on the Supernovas in the opening match of the league.
Women’s T20 Challenge Squads:
Supernovas: Harmanpreet Kaur (capt), Taniya Bhatia (vice-capt), Alana King, Ayush Soni, Chandu V, Deandra Dottin, Harleen Deol, Meghna Singh, Monica Patel, Muskan Malik, Pooja Vastrakar, Priya Punia, Rashi Kanojia, Sophie Ecclestone, Suné Luus, Mansi Joshi
Trailblazers: Smriti Mandhana (capt), Poonam Yadav (vice-capt), Arundhati Reddy, Hayley Matthews, Jemimah Rodrigues, Priyanka Priyadarshini, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, S Meghana Saiqa Ishaque, Salma Khatun, Sharmin Akhter, Sophia Dunkley, Sujata Mallik, Shradda Pokharkar
Velocity: Deepti Sharma (capt), Sneh Rana (vice-capt), Shafali Verma, Ayabonga Khaka, Kiran Navgire, Kate Cross, Keerthi James, Laura Wolvaardt, Maya Sonawane, Natthakan Chatham, Radha Yadav, Aarti Kedar, Shivali Shinde, Simran Bahadur, Yastika Bhatia, Pranavi Chandra
Women’s T20 Challenge Schedule:
- May 23 – Trailblazers vs Supernovas
- May 24 – Supernovas vs Velocity
- May 26 – Velocity vs Trailblazers
- May 28 – Final
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