Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav join Sydney Sixers for WBBL 2021-22

Shafali Verma

In a bid to turn their fortunes around, Sydney Sixers have signed the Indian duo of Radha Yadav and Shafali Verma for the upcoming edition of the Women’s Big Bash League, starting Thursday, October 14. The Sixers are scheduled to start their campaign on the very first day of the tournament against last season’s runners-up Melbourne Stars at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

Shafali has come up the ranks over the last couple of years and also played for the Birmingham Phoenix in the inaugural Women’s Hundred. The youngster has played all three formats for Team India and is currently a part of the national team for the tour of Australia. Before the start of the league, Shafali plans to enjoy her heart out and wants to go in with self-belief.

I am so happy to be able to play for the Sixers, says Radha Yadav

“This is a very good opportunity for me and my goal is to just enjoy myself, to make some new friends and have fun. I want to play WBBL and back myself and just believe in myself,” Verma was quoted as saying.

Radha, one of India’s prolific left-arm spinners, on the other hand, sounded delighted after getting to play in the WBBL. “Lots of young Indian girls want to play in the WBBL. It is a very good standard and I am so happy to be able to play for the Sixers this year,” Radha said.

Ben Sawyer, the head coach of the Sixers, welcomed them whole-heartedly and talked about the utility they bring to the fore. Sawyer had earlier worked with Shafali when the latter played for the Phoenix.

“She hits to different areas of the field and plays shots that are different to the other three girls in that top four. The experience I had with her in Birmingham was that she wants to learn, she wants to get better and she wants to grow as a player and a person,” Sawyer said while speaking on Shafali.

“Radha brings a skill set that we have never had at the Sixers and that’s very exciting,” he added.

Earlier, Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma were picked to play for the Sydney Thunder. Even as Mandhana has prior experience of playing for the Brisbane Heat and Hobart Hurricanes in the WBBL, it will be Deepti’s maiden appearance in the league.