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Heat land Indian WBBL star

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Indian batting sensation Smriti Mandhana will become the country's second player in an elite Australian Twenty20 competition, signing with the Brisbane Heat in the WBBL.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has previously blocked players from joining the Australian competition, but appears to have relaxed its rules ahead of the upcoming summer.

The women's national team's vice-captain Harmanpreet Kaur has also signed with the Sydney Thunder for the upcoming season.

Mandhana, 20, joins West Indian powerhouse Deandra Dottin in a Heat squad that also includes Southern Stars Holly Ferling and Jess Jonassen.

She also comes with great experience in the country, having clubbed 102 and 55 in two ODIs against Australia last summer in Hobart after the visitors had previously shocked the hosts in the T20s.

"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," Mahndana said.

"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 was Mandhana's knocks in that series that made a lasting impression on the Australians and helped secure the contract.

"When the opportunity came about that some of the Indian players were going to be available for the WBBL, the Brisbane girls were onto us straight away about Smriti,'' Brisbane coach Andy Richards said.

"It's going to be an enjoyable experience for all of us as a squad, with her and Deandra joining us."

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