Shabnim Ismail, who was with the UP Warriorz in the first edition of the WPL last season, will be a part of the Mumbai Indians this time. She joins the likes of key overseas players Hayley Matthews, Natalie Sciver-Brunt, and Issy Wong in the squad and the performance of one of women’s cricket’s fastest bowlers will be tracked closely.
JioCinema and Sports18 WPL expert Abhinav Mukund analyzed what Ismail, on whom MI spent Rs 1.2 crore at the auction in December, brings to the table, saying: “She gives you options at the start of the innings as well as the death overs. She will fit right into the MI team. They were quite clear about having her in the side.”
On whether she will feature in the playing XI, Mukund said: “She will come straight into the playing XI. She is hungrier than ever. I think she’s got a point to prove. The pressure on her is not there at MI. With UP Warriorz, she was among the frontline bowlers, but with the number of all-rounders MI have, she is a great pick-up for MI.”
Ismail, meanwhile, was thrilled at having joined the defending champions, saying: “This is my second opportunity to play in the WPL. I think it’s among the best competitions all around the world. And obviously, I am very happy to be playing for the champs this year. It’s always nice to go to a different team, different environment, and meet new people. I am looking forward to playing under Jhulan Goswami (MI mentor) and share her knowledge and experience. Sharing my knowledge with the youngsters will make us more successful and I am willing to learn and play to the best I can.”