WBBL 2021: Brisbane Heat rope in Poonam Yadav as Amelia Kerr’s replacement

India Women's Team

India leg-spinner Poonam Yadav will play for Brisbane Heat for the upcoming seventh edition of the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). The 30-year-old will replace New Zealand all-rounder Amelia Kerr in the squad, who has taken a break from the game due to mental health and wellbeing. Yadav shot to the limelight during the ICC T20 World Cup in 2020, where her slow leg-breaks were difficult for the opponents to pick.

Ever since that high of the global event, the Indian leg-spinner has been on the radar of several franchises. But it is Heat who have managed to acquire her services. This will be the first time that Yadav will get to play WBBL. During her staggering T20I career, she has already taken 98 wickets in just 71 games. Her googlies and economical bowling are hard to pick by the batters. She is India T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur’s go-to-bowler for taking wickets and for controlling the flow of runs.

Heat’s coach Ashley Noffke mentioned that it was a huge setback to not have Amelia Kerr playing for the franchise this year but sounded confident in utilizing Yadav’s skills for the upcoming WBBL season.

“When we lost Amelia Kerr, we were confident we could back our group to give a good account of themselves regardless but adding Poonam’s skill and her competitiveness is a huge result. She is a different type of bowler to Melie, and we are clear on how we can best utilize her talents in our line-up. Jess Jonassen has played against her and as captain, she is very keen to work alongside her now she is with the Heat,” Noffke said as quoted by cricket.com.au.

Poonam Yadav will bring in her vast amount of experience

With Heat signing Yadav, the Indian players participating in the WBBL this year have gone up to eight. She will join Shafali Verma, Radha Yadav, Harmanpreet Kaur, Smriti Mandhana, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, and Jemimah Rodrigues. Speaking about the Heat, they will be eager to get back to winning ways after not performing up to their lofty standards during the last season of WBBL.

Yadav with her sound experience of playing the sport for the past nine years will share her inputs with all-rounder and skipper Jess Jonassen. Heat have won two WBBL titles in 2018 and 2019.