Beth Mooney will take no further part in the Women’s Premier League. The captain and opener of Gujarat Giants had suffered a calf strain in the opening match of the league and had to leave the field after facing just three balls.
One of the world’s leading female batters, Mooney had come to the tournament in cracking form, right after winning the player-of-the-match award for her 74 not out in Australia’s final against South Africa at the T20 World Cup at Cape Town. Interestingly, the woman who top-scored for South Africa in that match, Laura Wolvaardt, is her replacement.
Wolvaardt, one of the most stylish batters in women’s cricket, had surprisingly found no takers at the auction. “I am so excited to be joining the Gujarat Giants,” she said. “It is an incredible opportunity and I’m very grateful to be able to play in the WPL. I look forward to meeting up with the team and cannot wait to get going.”
She will have to wait at least until March 11, when Giants is scheduled to play its next match, against Delhi Capitals. On Wednesday night, Giants had posted its first win in the tournament at the Brabourne Stadium, against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Mooney said she was gutted that she had to miss out on a tournament she had been looking forward to. “But unfortunately, injuries are part and parcel of the sport and I am gutted to be missing the remainder of the season,” she said. “I, however, will be keeping a close eye on the team’s performance from afar and will be rooting for them every single day. And though I will be away from the field of play for the rest of the season, I am looking forward to coming back stronger, fitter and I will definitely be hungrier next season.”
Her recovery is likely to take four to six weeks. Sneh Rana, who had been leading Giants in her absence, has officially been named the captain.
Gujarat Giants Squad: Sneh Rana (C), Ashleigh Gardner (VC), Laura Wolvaardt, Sophia Dunkley, Annabel Sutherland, Harleen Deol, Kim Garth, S Meghana, Georgia Wareham, Mansi Joshi, Dayalan Hemalatha, Monica Patel, Tanuja Kanwer, Sushma Verma, Hurley Gala, Ashwani Kumari, Parunika Sisodia, Shabnam Shakil.