Jemimah Rodrigues has become the third Indian batter to play Kia Super League (KSL) after Yorkshire Diamonds signed her for the upcoming fourth and final edition of the league. Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur are the other two Indian cricketers who have competed in the history of this T20 league hosted in England. Diamonds announced its 15-member squad which also features big names including Australia wicket-keeper batter Alyssa Healy and England fast bowler Katherine Brunt. The 18-year-old, who made her international debut in February 2018, has a strike rate of 123.57 in just 25 T20Is. Recently, the batting all-rounder had an impressive stint in a three-match ODI series in the backyard of New Zealand, scoring a career-best unbeaten 81 which helped India secure a 2-1 series victory.
Mumbai-born Rodrigues played for Harmanpreet-led Supernovas in the Women’s T20 Challenge in Jaipur and was named Player of the Tournament after amassing 123 runs in three matches. Former England off-spinner Danielle Hazell replaced Paul Grayson, who has taken on the role of men’s batting coach, to become Yorkshire Diamonds’ coach. Hazell played for the Diamonds in the first year of the KSL but left the team to captain Lancashire Thunder for the last two years before retiring as a player. In three years of the KSL so far, the Diamonds have not qualified for Finals Day. “Over the last few years, Yorkshire, a massive county, have probably underperformed in the Super League. We’ve now got a chance to put it right in the final year of the competition as it is now,” Hazell said in a statement.
“Hopefully some good signings and good performances can achieve that. I believe it’s a good squad and one of the strongest I’ve seen at the Diamonds. We’re pretty happy with it,” the Diamonds coach added. The 2019 KSL, which will be replaced by the Hundred from 2020, will start on August 6 and will see six teams – Lancashire Thunder, Loughborough Lightning, Western Storm, Surrey Stars, Yorkshire Diamonds, Southern Vipers – playing each other twice in a league format.
The top three teams qualify for finals day on September 1, with the second and third-placed sides competing for the chance to face the first-placed league winners in the final. Southern Vipers, Western Storm, and Surrey Stars have won the tournament once each in 2016, 2017, 2018, respectively.