Tuesday, Jul 05, 2022
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Women’s T20 Challenge: Heather Knight, Sophie Ecclestone, Alana King Among 12 Overseas Stars

The Women’s T20 Challenge did not take place last year due to COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI is planning a full-fledged Women's IPL from next year.

Smriti Mandhana-led Trailblazers are the defending champions of Women's T20 Challenge.
Smriti Mandhana-led Trailblazers are the defending champions of Women's T20 Challenge. BCCI

England captain Heather Knight, world’s top-ranked bowler Sophie Ecclestone and Australian leg-spinner Alana King are among 12 foreign players who are set to take part in the Women's T20 Challenge from May 23 in Pune.

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Alana, who has impressed in the recent 2023 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand, is the only cricketer available from Australia for the exhibition event comprising three teams and four matches. Besides Knight and Ecclestone, Sophia Dunkley and Danni Wyatt are the other English cricketers who have signed up for the competition.

South Africa's star opener Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp will also be part of the event alongside West Indians Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews. The Women's Challenge did not take place last year and the upcoming edition is expected to be the last one with the BCCI planning a full-fledged Women's IPL from next year.

“Heather Knight has confirmed her presence. Alana has also confirmed and is the only Australian. A total of 12 overseas players are available,” a BCCI source told PTI. The England captain, who led her team to the World Cup final last month, is currently in the UAE for the FairBreak Invitational T20 event alongside the rest of the players bound for the Women's T20 Challenge.

The Indian players for the event will be picked soon and the performances of the recently concluded domestic T20 event will be considered. KP Navgire scored the most runs in the competition, 525, followed by India batters Yastika Bhatia and Shafali Verma.

The top three wicket-takers were Aarati S Kedar, Sujata Malik and Priyanka Priyadarshini.  In the latest Women's T20 Challenge in 2020, Smriti Mandhana-led Trailblazers won the trophy after beating Harmanpreet Kaur-led Supernovas in the final.  

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