India stars to play in The Hundred

Verma (left) will play for Birmingham Phoenix with fellow India opener Smriti Mandhana joining Southern Brave

Four more India players have signed up for this summer’s women’s Hundred competition.

Shafali Verma, the world’s top-ranked Twenty20 batter, will replace captain Sophie Devine at Birmingham Phoenix.

All-rounder Harmanpreet Kaur joins Manchester Originals, opener Smriti Mandhana will link up with Southern Brave and all-rounder Deepti Sharma will play for London Spirit.

Jemimah Rodrigues had already signed with Northern Superchargers.

“It’s so good to finally be able to confirm the involvement of some of the superstars from the India team,” said Beth Barrett-Wild, head of the women’s Hundred.

“They’re a hugely exciting group of players and they’ll bring a lot to the competition.”

Big-hitting Verma, 17, has played in 22 T20 internationals for India, averaging 29.38 at a strike-rate of 148.31.

She replaces New Zealand’s Devine who has withdrawn from the tournament due to logistical reasons related to Covid-19 restrictions.

Devine will instead focus on preparing for this winter’s international schedule, including the World Cup which is due to be held in New Zealand.

Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry will take over as Birmingham Phoenix captain.

The first match of the new 100-ball competition – a women’s fixture between Oval Invincibles and Manchester Originals – will be live on BBC TV on Wednesday, 21 July.

“It’s very exciting that I’m going to get to play in the first ever game of The Hundred,” said Manchester Originals all-rounder Kaur.

“It will be special to make history, especially with a women’s match at such a big ground. We’ve played in front of some large crowds in India and it’s always a great experience for the players.”

Both the men’s and women’s finals take place at Lord’s on Saturday, 21 August.