Batsman Veda Krishnamurthy has been signed by the Hobart Hurricanes for the third edition of the Women's Big Bash League, which starts from December 9. Krishnamurthy will be part of the Hurricanes' overseas contingent, alongside England's Lauren Winfield and West Indies' Hayley Mathews, and will be available until January 15 before returning for national duties.
Currently, Krishnamurthy and Harmanpreet Kaur are the two Indian players in the WBBL line-up, with the latter set to continue her stint with the Sydney Thunder. ESPNcricinfo understands allrounder Deepti Sharma is also in negotiations with a number of franchises, while Smriti Mandhana, who represented the Brisbane Heat last year, could miss out this season. It is not yet clear if the franchise will renew her contract.
Krishnamurthy has stated she is available for ten matches and will miss the last stages of the tournament to prepare for India's tour of South Africa, which starts from mid-February. The WBBL final is scheduled for February 4.
"The offer came about a month ago. I was pleasantly surprised because I wasn't expecting it," Krishnamurthy told ESPNcricinfo. "Because our South Africa tour dates weren't announced then. We were expecting it [the tour] to be in January, so there was some confusion if I'd be able to take up the offer.
"Initially, they wanted my availability for the full season. But now, they are okay with me missing the last stages to accommodate the South Africa tour in February. At the moment, I'll be playing 10 games for Hobart Hurricanes.
"I spoke to Harman and Smriti about what to expect. It's exciting to play in a brand new country, interact with new cultures. I think this is a direct result of ICC promoting the game well. With the World Cup being so well received, new avenues have opened up for cricketers from around the world. This deal is a direct recognition of India's performance at the World Cup. To play in that environment with some of the world's best will surely add a new dimension to my game."
Krishnamurthy was a key member of India's squad that finished runners-up at the 2017 Women's World Cup. Her unbeaten 45-ball 70 in a must-win game against New Zealand helped India secure a semi-final berth.