England’s cricket captain, Heather Knight, has opted out of the upcoming Women’s Premier League 2024, dealing a blow to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) team. Knight, known for her impactful performances, scored 135 runs at a strike rate of 140.62 and took four wickets in the previous season.
The reasons for Knight’s withdrawal have not been disclosed by the franchise. However, RCB has announced that South Africa’s Nadine de Klerk will replace her. De Klerk is a versatile all-rounder with 30 ODIs and 46 T20Is under her belt, showcasing her experience on the international stage.
The decision has put England cricketers participating in the WPL in a dilemma, as staying for the league’s business end might lead to them missing England’s five-match T20I series in New Zealand. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has informed players involved in the WPL that they will not be considered for the first three T20Is in New Zealand if they stay in India for the entirety of the league.
The ECB is expected to announce the England squad for the upcoming series next week.
RCB had a challenging start in the WPL, losing their initial five matches. While they made a brief comeback with consecutive wins, they finished the season with another defeat. Despite winning two matches, RCB ended fourth on the points table, missing out on the knockout stage.
The team made significant investments in the auction held last December, acquiring seven players for a total of Rs 2.1 crore.
RCB Full Squad: Asha Shobana, Disha Kasat, Ellyse Perry, Nadine de Klerk, Indrani Roy, Kanika Ahuja, Renuka Singh, Richa Ghosh, Shreyanka Patil, Smriti Mandhana (C), Sophie Devine, Georgia Wareham, Kate Cross, Ekta Bisht, Shubha Satheesh, S Meghana, Simran Bahadur, Sophie Molineux