South African speedster Shabnim Ismail has been ruled out of the entire seventh edition of the Women Big Bash League (WBBL) owing to a knee injury she suffered during the South Africa tour of the West Indies. The Sydney Thunder broke the news on Monday.
“She took a bad knock and unfortunately Shabnim won’t be able to play in this season’s WBBL competition,” said Griffin.
“It’s terrible news because she’s been an important member of Sydney Thunder over the last couple of seasons.
“She showed her class in the Final against the Melbourne Stars at North Sydney Oval last year. I’m just as disappointed for her because I know how much she enjoys being a part of Thunder Nation and the WBBL.”
The 32-year old has been an integral part of the team since she joined the club in WBBL|05 edition. One of the fastest bowlers in women’s cricket, Ismail 10 wickets at an economy of 5.88 in her debut season.
Shabnim Ismail played an instrumental role in Thunder’s victorious campaign last season. She was named the Player of the Match for her match-winning performance in the final against the Melbourne Stars. She took 2 for 12, which included the Melbourne Stars skipper Meg Lanning.
“It’s a huge loss for Sydney Thunder, and also the WBBL competition,” said Leah Poulton, New South Wales’ head of women’s cricket.
“She’s a much-loved character in the Thunder team.
And that’s why, above everything else, we’re devastated that Shabnim can’t come out because she’s an important part of the group. They’ll obviously also miss her on the field because she’s that x-factor player who’s capable of turning a match on its head within an over.
“That’s a huge loss for any team.”
The club is yet to announce a replacement player for Ismail. They recently announced the signing of Indian duo Smriti Mandhana and Deepti Sharma.
Sydney Thunder will begin their title defence WBBL|07 campaign on Saturday, October 16 at Blundstone Arena in Hobart against the Adelaide Strikers.
Sydney Thunder WBBL Squad
Head Coach: Trevor Griffin
Contracted for WBBL|07: Rachael Haynes (C), Samantha Bates, Hannah Darlington, Corinne Hall, Sammy-Jo Johnson, Anika Learoyd, Phoebe Litchfield, Smriti Mandhana (IND), Kate Peterson, Olivia Porter, Deepti Sharma (IND), Lauren Smith, Tahlia Wilson