Indian women cricket team batswoman Smriti Mandhana has signed a one-year deal with Brisbane Heat for the second edition of the Women's Big Bash League, the franchise announced on Tuesday.
Mandhana, thus, became the second India women's player to sign for the BBL after Harmanpreet Kaur signed a contract with the defending champions Sydney Thunder.
"I am looking forward very much to working with the Australian girls in the Heat squad after playing against them last season," Mandhana told Cricket Australia.
"That was a good series, and I noticed there was a definite difference between their preparation and our preparation so I am keen to learn from the differences."
“Mandhana, whose signing was confirmed following a no-objection certificate from BCCI, will join Deandra Dottin, the West Indies vice-captain, as Heat's second international recruit for the season. "Things like fitness and how they train for a series like the WBBL and the way they work on their fielding are areas I am interested in. It will be exciting to live in a different city and meet new people as well as travel around Australia again."
Heat coach Andy Richards said Mandhana was high on their wish list following recommendation from a number of Australia women players, who featured in the ODI in Hobart earlier this year where Mandhana struck her maiden international century.
She followed that up with scores of 55, 55 and 46 in her next three ODIs.
Mandhana came to international limelight in 2014 when she made a half-century in India's historic Test win over England in Wormsley. She also played a key role in India's maiden T20I series triumph against Australia earlier this year, when she struck 29 and 22 not out.