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Big Names, Bigger Stakes: TKR’s pre-draft squad includes top talents from India and Australia

Big Names, Bigger Stakes: TKR's pre-draft squad includes top talents from India and Australia
Image via BCCI

India batter Jemimah Rodrigues and fast bowler Shikha Pandey will play for Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the 2024 Women’s Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) season. Joining them are Australian batter Meg Lanning and left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen, the other overseas players in the TKR squad ahead of the upcoming player draft.

Jemimah Rodrigues has expressed excitement about her first WCPL experience, looking forward to representing TKR. Having previously played for India in the Caribbean, Rodrigues believes this tournament will be an excellent preparation for the Women’s World T20 in October.

“This is the first time I’ll be coming to the WCPL. I’ve played for India in the Caribbean quite a bit, but I’m really excited that I’ll be representing the Knight Riders in WCPL,” Rodrigues said. “We all know the legacy that they have across the globe. Even the TKR Women’s team, champions of 2022, are a very proud side. I believe this tournament is also going to serve as a very good preparation for us leading up to the Women’s World T20 in October, with some of the best players in the world taking part in the competition.”

The TKR Women’s team, champions of the inaugural WCPL edition in 2022, have retained five players from their 2023 squad: Deandra Dottin, Shamila Connell, Kycia Knight, Zaida James, and Samara Ramnath. With six spots still to fill, TKR’s CEO, Venky Mysore, voiced excitement about retaining their core local Caribbean players and signing four world-renowned overseas talents.

Deandra Dottin will once again captain the team, having been an exceptional leader and player since the inaugural year. Dottin played a crucial role in TKR’s 2022 title victory. Mysore extended gratitude to the BCCI for facilitating Rodrigues and Pandey’s debut in the WCPL, believing their addition, along with Lanning and Jonassen, will thrill cricket fans globally.

“We are very excited to be able to retain the core of our local Caribbean players and sign up four world-renowned overseas players for this year’s Women’s CPL,” Venky Mysore, CEO of Knight Riders Group, said in a statement. “Great to have Deandra Dottin captaining the team once again. She has been a fantastic leader of the side since the inaugural year, having played a crucial role both as captain and player since our title victory in 2022.

This year’s WCPL will be held in Trinidad from August 21 to 29, with all seven matches played at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy. The 2024 season will see TKR competing against Guyana Amazon Warriors and defending champions Barbados Royals.

The TKR pre-draft squad includes Deandra Dottin, Meg Lanning, Jess Jonassen, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shikha Pandey, Kycia Knight, Shamila Connell, Zaida James, and Samara Ramnath. Rodrigues acknowledged the Knight Riders’ global legacy and the pride of being part of the TKR Women’s team, emphasizing the tournament’s importance in preparing for the Women’s World T20.

Mysore highlighted the quality and excitement the new additions bring, promising that WCPL 2024 will showcase some of the world’s best players in a thrilling competition.

“Jemimah Rodrigues and Shikha Pandey will add volumes to the quality of the tournament, and we are very thankful to the BCCI for facilitating their first-ever appearance in the WCPL. The addition of these two big Indian names, along with super stars Meg Lanning and Jess Jonassen should excite cricket enthusiasts around the world, as we look forward to welcoming them all in TKR’s red and black this August.”

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