Harmanpreet Kaur has become the first Indian player to be named the WBBL Player of the Tournament, while Phoebe Litchfield has been named the Young Gun of Weber WBBL|07.
Melbourne Renegades star Harmanpreet Kaur enjoyed a dominant season in red, ending the regular season as her side’s leading batter with 399 runs and bowler with 15 wickets.
The Indian T20 International captain demonstrated her experience and calm head at the crease throughout the tournament, taking home player of the match honours three times for her game-changing contributions.
Kaur was voted as the competition’s top player by the standing umpires at each match, polling 31 votes to finish three clear of Perth Scorchers pair Beth Mooney and Sophie Devine on 28 votes each. Grace Harris (25 votes) and Georgia Redmayne (24 votes), both of the Brisbane Heat, and Hurricanes batter Mignon du Preez (24 votes) round out the top six.
Kaur joins New Zealand pair Devine (twice) and Amy Satterthwaite as international players to be awarded the competition’s top individual honour, with Mooney, Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry also previous recipients.
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) November 24, 2021
Harmanpreet Kaur, Melbourne Renegades all-rounder, said: “I’m extremely delighted, it’s something very big that I have achieved.”
She added, “I’m very thankful to my team and all the support staff, they have been great during this time and have supported me a lot. It’s been totally a team effort – I was just doing the job the team was requiring from me, I never thought about winning awards.”
“We have a team that has gelled together. We support each other and that’s what we have been doing… I haven’t put any extra pressure on myself, I’ve just enjoyed being here and supporting my teammates.”
Harmanpreet also thanked head coach Simon Helmot. “Simon’s been a great coach. He never put any pressure on us to go out and win. Just tick the boxes for your team, he said. I’ve learnt a lot under him and will surely take back with me his working skills.”
Harmanpreet’s award will raise the question again whether a Women’s IPL is on the anvil.
“I’m waiting for it to start,” she said. “But really it’s a question for the BCCI and (other authorities). We can only request.”
Asked whether the WBBL should have come before the multiformat contest between India and Australia, Harman was diplomatic yet again. “It’s not in our hands. But every competition gives us more confidence as cricketers.”
She added, “This experience will be great preparation for us as we head to New Zealand where the wickets are similar to Australian wickets.”
The WBBL will also do wonders for the careers of the eight Indian players, she observed . “If you do well in a contest like this, other leagues and clubs will pick you up. It’s been a great experience for us that will improve our international cricket.”
She had a special word for teammate Jemimah Rodrigues. “Jemi brings a lot of energy to the game. She’s a skilful player to have on your side, providing great starts when we needed them. I’m glad she played for the Reengades. It made me enjoy it more, having a teammate from back home.”
The contest isn’t over yet, with Harmanpreet and Jemimah’s team still in play, with finals to be played on Sat 27 Nov.
WEBER WBBL|07 FINALS INFORMATION
The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers, Wednesday, November 24, Adelaide Oval, 6:40pm ACDT
The Challenger: Melbourne Renegades v Winner of The Eliminator, Thursday, November 25, Adelaide Oval, 6:40pm ACDT
The Final: Perth Scorchers v Winner of The Challenger, Saturday November 27, Optus Stadium, 4:10pm AWST